NEW ORLEANS, LA (NBC33) — President Barack Obama came to the port of New Orleans Friday to stress the message of funding and modernizing American infrastructure.
"Exports are one of the brightest spots in our economy, thanks in part to new deals that we signed with countries like Panama and Columbia and South Korea. We now export more goods and services than ever before and that means jobs right here in the United States of America," stated the president.
The president stressed that staying on top of exports is something that can’t be done without investing money to upgrade and modernize our infrastructure.
"Invest that money in things that actually do create jobs and grow our economy and one of those things is building new roads and bridges and schools and ports. That creates jobs! It puts people to work during the construction phase and then it creates an infrastructure for our economy to succeed moving forward," said President Obama.
Greater Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce president Adam Knapps said it is vital the United States keep up with policies and the latest improvements to our ports to keep the Baton Rouge economy booming.
"The amount of companies that are along the river, the entire port complex that we have is among the largest in the world, not just in the us, but the world, in terms of the amount of tonnage that comes out of southeast Louisiana along the industrial corridor," explained Knapps.
While the ports of Baton Rouge and New Orleans are doing good business, the president encouraged state leaders to start investing dollars now to modernize our ports.
"There’s work that we can start doing in terms of dredging and making the passageways deeper, which means the super-tankers can have more stuff on them which means they can unload and load more stuff, which makes us more competitive. So why wouldn't we put people to work upgrading them," said the president.
While touting the success of Louisiana’s ports, the president also took some time to urge Washington to get down to business. He encouraged them to pass a farm bill, immigration reform, and come up with a balanced budget.
The president also encouraged Governor Bobby Jindal to take Medicaid expansion dollars. The Governor has stood strong on the stance that Louisiana will not participate in the expansion.