Georgians pledge backing for S.C. port

November 16, 2011

Deal, senators call Charleston a partner to Savannah

Working closely with the state of South Carolina on regional economic development, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson pledged today to support efforts to deepen not only the Port of Savannah but also the Port of Charleston.

The Georgians announce this effort a day after U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood brought welcome news to Georgia, saying that deepening the Savannah Port “has to happen.”

“Georgia has fought long and hard to deepen the Port of Savannah, and we’re experiencing great progress on that front,” Deal said. “We see the Port of Savannah deepening as a boon to the economy of the Southeast, not just Georgia. This is a regional effort; that’s why we give our support to deepening the Port of Charleston. Many South Carolina exports leave the country from Savannah and many Georgia exports leave out of Charleston. The ports of Savannah and Charleston are partners, not competitors. We’re in a new day with bigger ships, and we need deeper ports. We must work together across state lines to the benefit of Georgians and South Carolinians alike.”

"I am grateful for the cooperation of Gov. Haley and others in South Carolina as we work toward progress on both the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project and expansion of the Charleston Harbor, together which will benefit the entire Southeast,” Chambliss said. “It is imperative that we all work together to ensure our region is not left behind after the expansion of the Panama Canal."

“It is critical for Georgia and South Carolina to work together in expanding both our ports to accommodate larger ships and to remain competitive,” said Isakson. “The positive economic impact of expanding both ports is undeniable, not just for our individual states, but for the entire region and the nation. I will continue to do all that I can to help in this partnership between Georgia and South Carolina."