By Justin Sink - 09/09/13 04:51 PM EDT
"How can we maintain our place in the world would having the best, most modern infrastructure in the world?" Biden said.
The vice president added the $10 million grant — which will be matched with $19 million in state funds — would "help take this historic port to a new level of service for our nation." The federal dollars are expected to help expand the shipping yard so it can accept new, larger ships that will be able to travel through the Panama Canal, while provide rail access to its Fairfield Marine Terminal.
“These wharfs have maintained our connection to secure sea lanes all around the world. They have fueled, in large part, the continued growth of our economy,” said Biden.
Biden also said that in the "coming weeks" he would be visiting other ports around the country to call for infrastructure improvements, bemoaning that many Americans did not understand their importance to the national economy.
"Americans never think about these ports… they don't get it," Biden said. "We've got to explain it to them."
The vice president was joined at the event by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, as well as Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and other Maryland lawmakers.