Philadelphia Welcomes U.S. Senator Patrick Toomey and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker
Senator Toomey and Secretary Pritzker Visit Packer Avenue Marine Terminal to Discuss Trade and Jobs with Port Officials
Officials of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) and Greenwich Terminals, LLC, operators of PRPA’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, today were pleased to welcome to the Port U.S. Senator Patrick Toomey (R-PA) and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, along with members of their respective staffs.
Senator Toomey and Secretary Pritzker arrived at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal to participate in a roundtable discussion followed by a bus tour of the terminal. As well as PRPA and Greenwich Terminal officials, representatives of several private companies involved in importing and exporting attended the roundtable discussion, as well as representatives of city government and heads of area business-development groups including the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. The primary topics covered during the one-hour roundtable were job development, international commerce, and how federal trade policies and international trade agreements could assist businesses.
Senator Toomey discussed how trade tends to be an issue where both sides of the aisle can work together, and talked about how Congress and the administration have been working on several initiatives to help US businesses increase their trade abroad. Secretary Pritzker detailed the many ways the U.S. Commerce Department works to facilitate trade and the development of good trade policy. A particular topic discussed by the attendees was the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, which hopes to significantly expand U.S. economic links with Asia, the fastest-growing sector of the world economy.
Representing PRPA at the meeting were PRPA Board Member and private business owner Michael K. Pearson, Director of Marketing Sean Mahoney, and Director of Governmental & Public Affairs Don Brennan. Mr. Pearson discussed trade issues from the perspective of an area business expanding its scope into that arena; Mr. Mahoney brought up the importance of effective trade pacts on port business; and Mr. Brennan updated the assembled group on the Delaware River Channel Deepening Project, currently deepening the region’s main shipping channel to 45 feet.
Greenwich Terminal LLC’s Leo Holt acted as the meeting’s chair, with colleagues Tom Holt, Jr. and Tom Holt III also participating. Tom Holt III reminded the group that increased international trade improves quality of life not only in this country but for the citizens of the many developing countries with which our country trades. A discussion of the Port’s cocoa bean cargoes also underscored this point. Representing that particular business were Ari Weiner of Dependable Distribution Services, which operates PRPA’s Pier 84 cocoa bean facility and Mike Lang of Blommer Chocolate.