Dredging the Missisisippi, transport costs and global competitiveness

An article in the Wall Street Journal (February 12, 2011) describes the US Army Corps of Engineers claim that they are running short of dredging funds to dredge to the preferred widths and depths.  The impact is that pilots of barges claim loads have to be lighter and travel mainly during daylight, thus increasing river transport costs. Since about 60 % of US agricultural products are shipped through the Mississippi river, the increased transport costs may hurt US competitiveness, thus impacting the US economy.  Is the dredging budget the bottleneck resource for US agricultural competitiveness ? Or would it be cheaper for the Federal government subsidize exports to compensate for this higher transport cost ?

About aviyer2010

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