Great Lakes officials release plan to boost maritime trade

DETROIT (AP) — An organization representing Great Lakes governors and premiers has released a plan for improving the region’s maritime transportation system.

Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan and Premier Kathleen Wynne of Ontario announced the strategy Wednesday in Detroit.

Its goal is to double the economic output of the $30 billion maritime industry in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Among the proposals are building another lock at Sault Ste. Marie that can accommodate the largest freighters; more dredging of key channels and harbors; developing an agreement on managing the system and making government regulations consistent; and streamlining the customs clearing process for cruise passengers and maritime cargo.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says the proposals would make it easier, faster and cheaper to move goods, making Great Lakes shipping more competitive.