WASHINGTON — Editor’s note: The U.S. Congress has passed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act; it will now go to the President to be signed into law. The following agricultural organizations have released statements in light of this announcement.
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
State departments of agriculture celebrate supply chain success with passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture CEO Ted McKinney issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act.
“Undue burden to our food system and supply chain has been lessened today with the passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, which maintains fair ocean carrier practices. Today’s actions couldn’t have come at a more needed time for the United States and the world as changes from the Ocean Shipping Reform Act will enable more U.S. agricultural products to reach the global marketplace,” McKinney said.
“NASDA also thanks Congress for working together in a bipartisan fashion to swiftly pass and provide solutions through the Ocean Shipping Reform Act.”
NASDA has supported the Ocean Shipping Reform Act since its introduction to the U.S. House of Representatives in August 2021. NASDA authored original and endorsed multiple collation letters to Congress in support of the act.
American Farm Bureau Federation
AFBF Applauds Final Passage of Ocean Shipping Reform Act
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall commented today on final congressional passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act.
“AFBF appreciates lawmakers for working together to pass the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. Record-high shipping costs and delayed access to containers have worsened supply chain issues and limited exports at a time when the world is calling on America’s farmers to meet growing demand. Some estimates suggest we’ve lost out on more than $25 billion in agricultural exports over the past six months because of ocean shipping constraints. That’s unacceptable. Limited trade has also made it more difficult to import supplies like fertilizer, which increases costs to farmers and ultimately hurts all families through higher grocery bills.
“I was pleased to team up with President Biden to urge passage and look forward to him quickly signing the Ocean Shipping Reform Act into law so farmers and ranchers can continue to meet the needs of families in America and overseas.”
North American Meat Institute
North American Meat Institute Applauds Passage of Ocean Shipping Reform Act
The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) today applauded the House of Representatives for passing a bipartisan bill to address unreasonable ocean carrier practices undermining the competitiveness of American exporters, including the meat and poultry industry. The bill, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, which was introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), now goes to the President to be signed into law. The Meat Institute also thanks Representatives John Garamendi (D-Calif.) and Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) for their leadership on the House version of the bill.
“The problems at our ports include delays of shipments of American-made goods to overseas trading partners due to the unreasonable practices of foreign-owned ocean carriers,” said Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO of the North American Meat Institute. “These delays are a huge cost to meat and poultry companies as their perishable products await transport.”
Carriers are declining or cancelling export cargo bookings, while frequent ship delays and cancellations with little or no notice to exporters are delaying shipments by weeks or even months. The resulting inability of shippers to deliver their products on schedule affects the reliability of American exports, and decreases export values and market share.
According to the Agriculture Transportation Coalition on average 22 percent of US agriculture foreign sales could not be completed in 2021 due to ocean carrier practices including: exorbitant freight rates; declined booking requests; unreasonable freight and demurrage/detention charges; and failure to communicate schedules in a timely manner.
U.S. Meat Export Federation
USMEF Statement on Passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act
Today the House of Representatives passed S.3580, advancing the Ocean Shipping Reform Act for President Biden’s approval.
U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom issued this statement:
USMEF thanks both houses of Congress for their strong bipartisan support of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, and we look forward to final approval by President Biden. In these times of rising input costs, it has never been more important to maximize the value of our agricultural products, and the best way to do that is to ensure access to the international marketplace. This legislation takes important steps forward in improving the shipping services available to U.S. exporters.
For questions, please email John Herath or call 574-440-9345.