NASDA Letter Regarding Ocean Shipping Reform Bill S.3580
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) supports S. 3580, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, a bipartisan bill that addresses unreasonable ocean carrier practices that are undermining U.S. export competitiveness. NASDA represents the 54 secretaries, directors, and commissioners of agriculture, representing the 50 states and four of the territories. NASDA encourages the committee to quickly pass this bill out of committee because the reforms made in this bill will help address the longstanding issues of port congestion and supply chain interruptions that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The transportation crisis for U.S. agriculture products has become increasingly dire. Many agriculture products produced in the U.S. experience significant competition from other countries. If we cannot deliver our products dependably, our foreign customers will find alternatives to our exports. U.S. farmers, ranchers, and producers need their products to get to foreign markets in a timely manner or the continual damage done will be determinantal the U.S. agricultural economy.
We request that the committee advance this legislation to the Senate floor for a vote, so that following a conference with the House, a final bill can be sent to the President’s desk as soon as possible. U.S. agriculture is depending upon it.
March 2, 2022
U.S. Senate, Chairwoman Maria Cantwell, Ranking Member Roger Wicker