Breaking the Ice: Supporting Great Lakes Commerce

February 21, 2020
Press Release

In Northeast Wisconsin, we make things. And our economy relies on the Great Lakes to ship these goods from point A to point B.

In fact, it's not just Northeast Wisconsin that relies on the Great Lakes. Businesses across this region use the Great Lakes as a means of trade. And this water-based commerce across the Great Lakes ultimately supports nearly 150,000 jobs and over $20 billion in economic activity each year.

But last winter we lost over $1 billion because ports froze over and we lacked sufficient icebreaking in places like Green Bay. And we've seen similar losses in other years as well. This is unacceptable. We're no strangers to cold weather in the Frozen Tundra, and we shouldn't allow ice prevent NEW businesses from shipping their goods during winter months.

That's why last week Rep. Gallagher introduced the Great Lakes Winter Commerce Act. A bill that would clearly define the United States Coast Guard's icebreaking mission on the Great Lakes to better ensure these trade routes remain open for commerce year-round.

He talked about this bill and the impact it will have on Northeast Wisconsin companies last week at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay. Check out more in this article from WBAY below.

Even amidst all the partisanship in Washington, this bill already has bipartisan support. This should come as no surprise given the Great Lakes produces nearly 28% of our country's GDP. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Gallagher will continue to work to get this bill passed before we have a repeat of what happened in Northeast Wisconsin last winter.


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