Representatives Mitchell, Kaptur, Bergman, and Moolenaar Lead Bipartisan Letter to President Trump Regarding Soo Locks

May 7, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Last Friday, Representatives Paul Mitchell (R-MI), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Jack Bergman (R-MI), and John Moolenaar (R-MI) led a bipartisan letter to President Donald Trump, urging his continued commitment to rebuild and improve the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The letter was sent in response to remarks the president made during a recent event in Washington Township, Michigan, where he told the crowd he supports modernizing the Soo Locks.


In their letter, Representatives Mitchell, Kaptur, Bergman and Moolenaar, and 49 of their colleagues wrote: “As you know, the Soo Locks are nearly 50 years old, which is well past their useful and safe lifespan. A new 1,200-foot lock is vital to ensuring our economic prosperity and national security. These locks are the only waterway connection from Lake Superior to the rest of the Saint Lawrence Seaway. This makes it a single point of failure in a system that supports millions of jobs nationwide and billions of dollars of economic activity. Nearly all domestic iron ore – which is required for certain steel production, a substantial part of our economy and needed for national defense – travels through the Soo Locks. This passage also carries other significant domestic materials and products, and is used for recreational purposes.”


“The Soo Locks are an essential component of American’s economy and our prosperity, and President Trump’s acknowledgment of the Soo Lock’s importance is a major step forward in rebuilding and improving them,” said Mitchell. “Since coming to Congress, I have been working hard to draw attention to the importance of upgrading the Soo Locks to the Army Corps of Engineers and others, and am confident that with the president’s support, we will soon see the project advance.”


“Upgrading the Soo Locks, which are critical to jobs and commerce across the Midwest, is precisely the type of investment that should be priority number one,” said Kaptur, Ranking Member of the Energy and Water Appropriations Committee. “I urge the President to follow through on his words with real action that will bolster our Great Lakes Heartland as well as America’s industrial base.”


“Since taking office, building a new Poe-sized Lock in Sault Ste. Marie has been my number one infrastructure priority, not only for the First District of Michigan, but for our entire country,” said Bergman. “I’m encouraged by President Trump’s interest in building this Lock, and will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to move this project forward.”

“The American economy depends on iron ore that passes through a 49-year old Lock. We need to build a second new lock to make sure this critical supply of goods continues uninterrupted for years to come,” said Moolenaar, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “I welcome President Trump’s support for this project and I will continue to fight for this priority in Congress.”


Representatives Mitchell, Kaptur, Bergman, and Moolenaar were joined by 49 of their colleagues including: Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), Rep. Richard M. Nolan (D-MN), Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), Rep. Dave Trott (R-MI), Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI), Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Rep. Bradley S. Schneider (D-IL), Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), Rep. Daniel W. Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI), Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-MI), Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI), Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL), Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN), Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH), Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI), Rep. Keith J. Rothfus (R-PA), Rep. Robin L. Kelly (D-IL), Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL), Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN), Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA), Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI).


You can view the letter here.