Davis, Over 100 Members of Congress Send Letter to Address Carriers Declining to Ship U.S. Agriculture Exports from U.S. Ports
U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and a bipartisan group of over 100 members of Congress sent a letter to Michael A. Khouri, Chair of the Federal Maritime Commission, voicing concern over reports that certain vessel-operating common carriers (VOCCs) are declining to ship U.S. agricultural commodity exports from U.S. ports.
VOCCs serve as an integral link between American producers and overseas customers, without which contracts cannot be met and the ability to compete in or even access foreign markets is threatened.
Read the full letter here.
“International trade and export markets are a major source of income for American farmers and producers,” said Rep. Rodney Davis. “That’s why reports of VOCCs declining to ship American agricultural products are so concerning. These supply chain issues may create financial problems for Illinois farmers and agricultural companies at a time when they need certainty and stability more than ever. I urge the Federal Maritime Commission to investigate these reports so we can find out if regulatory action needs to be taken.”
Over the past year, American producers, exporters, and entire economic sectors have grappled with widespread delays, bottlenecks, and increasing fees at our ports. These challenges are exacerbated by reports that VOCCs are delivering shipments to U.S. ports and then electing to leave without refilling empty containers with American goods for export. Such activity constricts entire supply chains and propels trade to move only in an inbound direction.
In March 2020, the Federal Maritime Commission launched Fact Finding No. 29, “International Ocean Transportation Supply Chain Engagement,” to investigate all the congestion, bottlenecks, and fees seen at our ports. In November, Fact Finding No. 29 was expanded to include reports of the decline to ship American exports.
Also leading on this issue are Congressmen Adrian Smith (R-NE), Jim Costa (D-CA), John Garamendi (D-CA), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Troy Nehls (R-TX), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), and Mike Thompson (D-CA). You can find quotes from other members of Congress on this issue here.