Vice President Joe Biden was at the Port of Houston Monday, pledging money to shore up our nation's shipping facilities as work continues on an expansion project of the Panama Canal.

"We've got to be like Texas and America, move faster than the rest of the world, that's always been our advantage," said Biden.

"If we made this investment today, that $50 billion we're asking for, we would create 650,000 new jobs," he said.

Local officials hope to secure just half of that money so the Port of Houston can begin taking larger ships.  Houston already boasts the country's largest export facility.

Biden says the time is now to capitalize on manufacturers returning to the U.S.

"But they will not stay if we don't have 21st Century infrastructure," he said.  "They will not stay unless they can maintain a competitive advantage in manufacturing in the United States of America."

Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox accompanied Biden to Houston.  He says our nation's shipping ports are crucial to the nation's economy.

"American businesses depend on safe, affordable transportation for their goods, especially when it comes to shipping," said Fox.  "After all, 75-percent of our nation's exports travel through ports."

The pair now head to the Panama Canal to tour the expansion project slated to be finished in 2015.