BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The coronavirus has caused the postponement of a news conference that would have highlighted the impact of the U.S. maritime industry on the Texas economy.

The event was slated to occur on Monday morning, March 16, at the Keppel AmFELS shipyard at the Port of Brownsville.

The American Maritime Partnership (AMP), the voice of the domestic maritime industry, was slated to host the press conference, which would have featured public officials, local business leaders, and Texas-based maritime workers.

George Pasha IV

The event would have revealed the findings of a new study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of the Transportation Institute.

The study would have included all-new data on the economic benefits of the domestic maritime industry to the Texas economy, which ranks third of all U.S. states for economic impact driven by the domestic maritime industry.

“The American Maritime Partnership is postponing our event originally scheduled for this Monday, March 16th at Keppel AmFELS in Brownsville, Texas,” a news advisory from AMP stated.

“The new date will be announced once it is determined. Our primary goal is to protect the health of attendees and the public at large. We will be in touch with an update in the near future. Thank you for your cooperation, and hope you stay healthy and safe.”

Among the VIPs slated to attend the event were:

The Hon. Filemon Vela (D-TX), U.S. Representative, 34th District of Texas

Sen. Eddie Lucio, II, Texas Senate, 27th District

Eduardo Campirano, Port Director and CEO, Port of Brownsville

George Pasha IV, Chairman and CEO, Pasha Hawaii

Mohd Sahlan Bin Salleh, President, Keppel AmFELS, LLC

John Sullivan, Founder and Managing Principal, Callan Marine

Matt Woodruff, Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, Kirby Corporation

Following the news conference, a tour would have been possible be of the M/V George III, the first of the two 774-foot ‘Ohana Class containerships nearing completion at Keppel AmFELS, following keel laying ceremony for the second ship, the M/V Janet Marie.

More than 40,000 American vessels built in American shipyards, crewed by American mariners, and owned by American companies, operate in U.S. waters 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and this commerce sustains nearly 650,000 American jobs, $41.6 billion in labor compensation, and more than $154.8 billion in annual economic output.