Congress passes ocean shipping bill to alleviate shipping backlogs
NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - A bill that aims to ease the strain on the U.S.’s supply chain has passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and is now on its way to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
The Ocean Shipping Reform Act, proposed by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Thune (R-SD), will put restrictions on international shipping companies at U.S. ports, making it harder for companies to refuse shipping containers filled with U.S. goods, which, until now, have sat in ports not being shipped.
“We basically put some rules in place. We said, ‘Okay, from now on, you’re going to have to charge fair rates, and you also have to send out American manufacturing, goods and farm crops and commodities,’” Klobuchar said.
The legislation passed unanimously in the Senate and passed in the House by a vote of 369-42.
Back home, agriculture experts hope this mend to the supply chain will help ease some stress on local farmers.
“The ports are full and our stuff’s not being exported, but their ships come in. What’s going on? This legislation was really needed for that background work for our federal government and the ports and logistics to really get their stuff in order and be able to force some change,” GreenSeam Director Sam Ziegler said.
The bill has been in the works since February and is on schedule to make a noticeable change at the perfect time for farmers.
“They have to have the laws written in the next 45 days or so, and then they have another window of time that they have to have the rules in effect. So it won’t go in effect today anyway, it’ll more last something this fall, which aligns very well with the export season of commodities,” Ziegler said.
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