U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert B. Zoellick and U.S. Customs Commissioner Robert C. Bonner will be among the featured speakers at the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) Spring Conference meeting on Tuesday March 19 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington D.C.
Ambassador Zoellick will receive AAPA’s Port Person of the Year Award and will provide the keynote address at 8:30 a.m. on March 19. Commissioner Bonner will be the featured speaker during the Annual |!|Washington People’s Luncheon|!| from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. He is expected to address seaport security issues during his remarks.
AAPA’s Port Person of the Year Award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the port industry. In his current position as USTR Ambassador Zoellick has participated in international efforts to create growth in American trade by opening markets abroad and maintaining an open-market policy within the U.S. In his role as chief Department of State negotiator for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Ambassador Zoellick helped to ensure that increased trade would benefit ports and maritime transportation.
Ambassador Zoellick assumed office as the 13th U.S. Trade Representative in 2001. Prior to that he served as Under Secretary of State for Economic and Agricultural Affairs. His responsibilities included political economic and security topics in all regions of the world.
Ambassador Zoellick was selected as AAPA’s 2002 Port Person of the Year by AAPA’s Executive Committee. Previous recipients include: 1994 – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Federico Peña; 1995 – U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor; 1997 – U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield (R-OR); 1998 – Canadian Member of Parliament Stan P. Keyes; 1999 – No award presented; 2000 – U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX); and 2001- U.S. Senator John Breaux (D-LA).
Other speakers during AAPA’s Spring Conference will include Michael Crye president of the International Council of Cruise Lines and Jonathan Benner attorney Troutman Sanders LLP regarding |!|The New Priority for Seaport Security in the Western Hemisphere.|!| A second panel will address |!|Balancing Transportation Needs with Port Environmental Stewardship.|!| Those interested can register for AAPA’s Spring Conference on-line at www.aapa-ports.org/programs/springconf.htm.
The American Association of Port Authorities was founded in 1912 and today represents 150 public port authorities in the United States Canada Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition the Association represents 300 sustaining and associate members firms and individuals with an interest in the seaports of the Western Hemisphere. AAPA port members are public entities mandated by law to serve public purposes. Port authorities facilitate waterborne commerce and contribute to local regional and national economic growth.