By RUSS BYNUMAssociated Press
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - President Barack Obama used his televised interview with Jay Leno to slip in a plug for three Southeastern states seeking federal funds to deepen the waterways cargo ships navigate to reach their ports.
Appearing Tuesday on NBC's "The Tonight Show," the president told Leno that U.S. ports on the East and Gulf coasts need deeper harbors to stay competitive as the Panama Canal finishes a major expansion in 2015 that will give supersized cargo ships a shortcut between the U.S. and Asia.
Obama mentioned three specific ports that proponents say need deeper harbors: Charleston, S.C., Jacksonville, Fla., and Savannah, Ga.
Curtis Foltz, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, says the ports in all three states risk losing access to growing export markets overseas if they can't accommodate larger ships.Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.