South Carolina's Economic Future Relies on Deeper Water

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Seven feet of South Carolina dirt could be the difference between a bright shiny future for the state, and a cloudy, uncertain one.

The recent approval by Congress of the federal half of funding required to deepen the Port of Charleston, giving the green light for the Army Corps of Engineers to go ahead with the project, was not only a sign that the port could thrive in the future, but that it would survive.

South Carolina’s promising economic future is in part thanks to the completion of a decade-long Panama Canal expansion project that allowed for increased ship size and greater competition.

“There is a winnowing of ports coming with this,” Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., said. “There will be fewer and fewer ports of call. This deepening project means that Charleston will be one of those. It means Charleston stays competitive in its ability to handle freight. It means the corresponding jobs that go with that will stay in South Carolina. The reality in shipping today is that it is us vs. other places, and this means it’s going to be us.”