US Coast Guard announces Maritime Commerce Strategic Outlook

October 15, 2018 – The Coast Guard announced its Maritime Commerce Strategic Outlook, which is the service’s long-term vision to support and grow maritime commerce in the U.S.

“Maritime commerce accounts for $4.6 trillion in annual economic activity; this strategy emphasizes the critical need for a ready, relevant, and responsive Coast Guard that maximizes America’s economic prosperity through the maritime domain,” said Coast Guard Vice Adm. Daniel Abel, deputy commandant for operations.

“The Coast Guard has the enduring responsibility to safeguard the Marine Transportation System (MTS) and promote the uninterrupted flow of maritime commerce. This duty is becoming more challenging because the complexity of the maritime environment is rising due to emerging technologies, automation, interconnectivity, robotics, and networked systems. These factors produce a system that is highly efficient and interdependent yet susceptible to disruption. Any disruption – even a brief interruption – to America’s MTS has the potential for damaging effects to the nation’s economy and national security,” said Abel.

The strategy includes three lines of effort: Facilitating Lawful Trade and Travel on Secure Waterways; Modernizing Aids to Navigation and Mariner Information Systems; and Transforming Workforce Capacity and Partnerships.

“As the lead federal agency protecting our nation’s Marine Transportation System and the primary regulator of the maritime shipping industry, the Coast Guard advances American prosperity by safeguarding ports and waterways and ensuring unrestricted and unimpeded trade and travel through America’s waterways,” said Abel.

To support this vision, the Coast Guard will accelerate integration of modern navigation systems into an existing network of buoys and beacons.

“American economic global competitiveness depends on a state-of-the-art intermodal ports and waterways network,” said Abel.

Additionally, the Coast Guard will improve and enhance relationships with the maritime community, leverage bilateral and multilateral relationships, improve international standards and guidelines, and continue to work with state and local governments to ensure vessels are subject to consistent standards, while locally collaborating on protecting and preserving U.S. waters.

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