The Ocean Shipping Reform Act will level the playing field for American exporters by updating federal regulations for the global shipping industry

Klobuchar was joined by representatives from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, MedSource Labs, the Consumer Technology Association, and the Minnesota District Export Council


WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) held a roundtable highlighting how her bipartisan legislation to boost U.S. exports will help address supply chain disruptions and support Minnesota businesses. Klobuchar was joined by Minnesota Corn Growers Association Board Chair Tim Waibel; MedSource Labs Founder and CEO Todd Fagley; Consumer Technology Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro; and Minnesota District Export Council Board Vice Chair Shannen Bornsen.

“Foreign-owned ocean carriers have been making it more difficult and more expensive to ship products to where they need to go. Unreliable service has resulted in products being left at U.S. ports, while ocean carriers return to Asia with empty containers…That’s why Senator John Thune and I introduced a bipartisan solution in the Senate: the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. Our bill protects American manufacturing and farming by making it harder for foreign-owned ocean carriers to refuse to ship ready-to-export goods waiting at our ports,” said Klobuchar.

“Exports have always played a big part in agriculture. Currently 17.5% of the corn produced in the U.S. is exported,” said Waibel. “I do know on my farm that we talk about supply chain issues. We ordered a tractor a year ago this month, it was supposed to be here in March, and we got notified that it’s supposed to be here in June – and that’s if everything goes right. I know that I’m not the only farmer dealing with this.”

“We at MedSource Labs have been talking about this issue for what is now almost two years, and we have been letting everybody know how it’s affecting our business and our industry. We make innovative devices, medical devices,” said Fagley. “We see impost costs coming in, we see warehousing costs go up, we see export costs going up. Across the board, it’s a lot of costs that we see.”

“Things just aren’t on the shelves anymore in stores – including food stores – and a lot of it obviously has to do with supply chains,” said Shapiro. “So you’re facing two things – Americans are experiencing frustrations and delays, and they’re experiencing greater prices…This is exorbitant, it’s inflationary, it affects the supply chain, and your legislation is doing something substantive about it.”

“Working with shipping lines I think is something that’s been a frustration for some time, but it’s really come to a head because of so many challenges coming together at the same time. The number of issues that exporters are facing today is really quite unprecedented,” said Bornsen. “The Minnesota District Export Council applauds this bipartisan effort to relieve some of this burden.”

The bipartisan Ocean Shipping Reform Act, which Klobuchar introduced with Senator John Thune (R-SD) and a bipartisan group of 14 of their Senate colleagues, will level the playing field for American exporters by updating federal regulations for the global shipping industry. The legislation will 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, including agriculture producers.

# # #