trade concerns

OSRA Signing: A ‘Big Win’ for Addressing Shipping Challenges

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Trade

President Joe Biden signed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) into law on Thursday and has been met with substantial support from the agricultural industry. The legislation had just passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives earlier in the week. Many industry organizations are eager for OSRA’s implementation to bolster enforcement against anticompetitive practices by ocean carriers.


“AFBF appreciates the bipartisan work from Congress in getting the Ocean Shipping Reform Act passed and the quick action by President Biden to sign it into law,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall commented. “Record-high shipping costs and shortages of containers have created bottlenecks at our ports and worsened supply chain issues at a time of growing demand domestically and overseas. Some estimates suggest we’ve lost out on more than $25 billion in agricultural exports.”

President and CEO of the Almond Alliance of California, Aubrey Bettencourt was in attendance at the signing, describing the legislation as “a big win for American workers, farms, businesses, and supply chain.”  Representatives from the National Pork Producers Council also attended the signing ceremony and commended the lawmakers responsible for moving the legislation through Congress. The National Milk Producers Federation and U.S. Dairy Export Council also applauded the signing and are calling for swift implementation. OSRA will prohibit fees and charges levied by ocean carriers and will increase the efficiency of the complaint process.

“This bill provides much-needed improvements to the maritime shipping environment, which has increasingly become too unpredictable and costly for our exporters to remain competitive. We remain committed to pushing back against unreasonable rejections and other actions that are harmful to our shippers,” Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia said in a press release. “I thank the Administration for its support and swift enactment of OSRA, and I look forward to similarly immediate action by the Federal Maritime Commission to wield its new authorities on behalf of U.S. exporters.”

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West