400 Transportation:Privatize the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

Savings in Millions of Dollars
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023
  • 2024
  • 2025
  • 2016-2020
  • 2016-2025


Savings are expressed as budget authority and were calculated by using the FY 2014 enacted spending levels as found on page 1,020 of “Appendix, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2015,” March 2014. The FY 2014 enacted spending was increased at the same rate as discretionary spending for 2016–2025, according to the CBO’s most recent August 2014 baseline spending projections.


Technical Notes on Scoring

CBO Baseline

Unless otherwise noted, calculations for savings for each recommendation relies on the most recent Congressional Budget Office baseline, as found in “An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024,” published August 27, 2014, has been used.

Savings “Totals”

While totals for the five and 10 year savings are provided by section and for the complete set of recommendations, there are two reasons they should not be viewed as representing total savings for The Budget Book.

First, as noted in the introduction, The Heritage Foundation would recommend that the savings realized in the Function 050 Defense section would stay within the Department of Defense to strengthen the nation’s defense capabilities.

Second, the numbers cannot be deemed to represent the realized savings if every single recommendation were adopted because policy changes made in one program can impact spending levels in other programs.  Thus, the numbers in the table do not reflect any potential interactions between the various policy changes affecting spending or savings.


Heritage Recommendation:

Privatize the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC). This proposal saves $32 million in 2016, and $345 million over 10 years.


Canada privatized their Seaway Corp in 1998. Why is the U.S. so far behind? Save $345 million.

Created in the Wiley–Dondero Act of 1954, the SLSDC is a government-owned entity charged with maintaining and operating a part of the Saint Lawrence Seaway that is within United States territory. The seaway opened in 1959.

Canada, which also borders the seaway, privatized its section in 1998, eliminating any future taxpayer funding for its maintenance and operation activities. Privatization of this kind in the U.S. would encourage productivity and competitiveness, and mean lessening the burden on taxpayers. Congress should follow Canada’s example and privatize the SLSDC—a reform that is long overdue.

Canada privatized their Seaway Corp in 1998. Why is the U.S. so far behind? Save $345 million.

Contributing Expert

Emily Goff advances conservative solutions to transportation and infrastructure challenges as policy analyst in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

See publications by Emily Goff

Emily GoffPolicy Analyst, Transportation and Infrastructure

Heritage Expert

Diane Katz, who has analyzed and written on public policy issues for more than two decades, is a research fellow in regulatory policy at The Heritage Foundation.

See publications by Diane Katz

Diane KatzResearch Fellow in Regulatory Policy

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