Bill now has 22 bipartisan cosponsors

American Association of Port Authorities endorses the Ocean Shipping Reform Act: “the Klobuchar-Thune bill will further help the system by prioritizing cargo fluidity and increasing access for American businesses and consumers"

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Thune (R-SD) today announced new support for their bipartisan legislation to boost U.S. exports and address supply chain disruptions from the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). With more than 130 port authorities across North America and South America, including the Port of Duluth-Superior, AAPA’s endorsement after the legislation’s introduction signals significant momentum for the bill.

“Congestion at ports and increased shipping costs pose unique challenges for U.S. exporters, who have seen the price of shipping containers increase four-fold in just two years. Meanwhile, foreign-owned ocean carriers have reported record profits,” said Klobuchar. “Our ports have watched this dynamic unfold and know that we must take action to level the playing field for U.S. shippers and hold ocean carriers accountable. I’m glad to have the support of the American Association of Port Authorities as we continue working to pass this bipartisan legislation and strengthen our supply chains.”

“South Dakota producers expect that ocean carriers operate under fair and transparent rules, but unfortunately, that is not always the case,” said Thune. “The improvements made by this bill would provide the FMC with the tools necessary to address unreasonable practices by ocean carriers and improve cargo fluidity at our nation’s ports. We appreciate the strong support for this common-sense effort.”

“U.S. ports are moving more goods than ever — to foreign markets, to American homes, to American businesses. As shovels start hitting the ground for port capacity expansion, thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Klobuchar-Thune bill will further help the system by prioritizing cargo fluidity and increasing access for American businesses and consumers. The pandemic has laid bare the need for a transport system to be able to surge and stretch — across all links, from sea, to land, to rail, to warehouse, to consumer. Incentives like fluidity charges keep cargo from piling up on the proverbial ‘baggage carousel.’ These fluidity charges are 100 percent proven to decrease the long-dwelling cargo at ports, which was a major cause of congestion during the early stages of the pile-ups. We look forward to seeing this bill through the mark up process, and to both the strengthening of fluidity provisions and putting Federal investment dollars to their highest use,” said Chris Connor, American Association of Port Authorities President and CEO.

The legislation is now cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 22 senators, with Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Jim Risch (R-ID), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Roy Blunt (R-MO) joining. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), John Hoeven (R-ND), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Todd Young (R-IN), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Tina Smith (D-MN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Joni Ernst (R-IA) are also cosponsors.

The Ocean Shipping Reform Act will level the playing field for American exporters by updating federal regulations for the global shipping industry, make it harder for foreign-owned international ocean carriers to unreasonably decline shipping opportunities for U.S. exporters, and set stronger rules for what the international carriers can charge U.S. exporters.

The Ocean Shipping Reform Act is also supported by the Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC), the National Retail Federation, the National Industrial Transportation League, the Home Furnishings Association, the Hardwood Federation, National Milk Producers Federation, American Trucking Associations (ATA), ADM,  National Milk Producers Federation, U.S. Dairy Export Council, Tyson Foods, the American Home Furnishings Alliance, Auto Care Association, International Association of Movers, Harbor Trucking Association, American Apparel and Footwear Association, Travel Goods Association, American Pyrotechnics Association, National Association of Chemical Distributors, American Equipment Manufacturers, National Marine Manufacturers Association, ATA Agriculture and Food Transporters Conference, ATA Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference, California Automotive Wholesalers’ Association, DairyAmerica, Fragrance Creators Association, Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers, California Dairies, Inc., Sartori Cheese, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc., International Ingredient Corporation, Associated Milk Producers, American Bankers Association, International Warehouse Logistics Association, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Agri-Mark, Inc., Northeast Dairy Cooperatives, Retail industry Leaders Association, Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, United Dairymen of Arizona, Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative, Midwest Dairy Coalition, International Dairy Foods Association, High Desert Milk, the Consumer Technology Association, Northwest Dairy Association, Darigold, Schreiber Foods, Dairy Farmers of America, First District Association, the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, Leprino Foods Company, the North American Meat Institute, Meat Import Council of America, Leather and Hide Council of America, Milk Specialties Global, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, South Dakota Soybean Association, Pet Food Institute, Western Growers, Allports Forwarding Inc., California Fresh Fruit Association, Capay Canyon Ranch, Double River Forwarding LLC, Fornazor International, IMC Companies, International Fresh Produce Association, National onion Association, Pacific Northwest Asia Shippers Association, Pandol Bros. Inc., SB&B Foods LLC, ShoEi Foods USA, Specialty Crop Trade Council, Specialty Soya & Grains Alliance, Total Logistics Resources Inc., Williams Clarke Company, Inc, and California Farm Bureau. 

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