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USDEC & NMPF Appreciate Congressional Oversight; Urge Continued Federal Action on Ports Issues

June 15, 2021

“The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) thanks Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Salud Carbajal and Subcommittee Ranking Member Bob Gibbs for holding a House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) hearing today to examine the impacts of shipping container shortages and delays on supply chains critical to global food supply,” said Krysta Harden, USDEC President and CEO. “While receiving testimony and answers from Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chair Maffei and Commissioner Dye is a step forward in resolving the issues the U.S. dairy industry faces, we urge House T&I leadership to ensure this oversight action results in tangible action to alleviate and resolve the challenges exporters face.”

“Dairy producers throughout the country are feeling the consequences of port congestion as delays in loading U.S. dairy exports onto carriers creates a chilling effect on farm-gate milk prices,” said Jim Mulhern, National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) President and CEO. “We thank Chairman Carbajal and Ranking Member Gibbs for holding a hearing today to identify what enforcement authority the FMC requires to resolve this crisis and ensure American dairy exports can continue unimpeded.”

Specifically, USDEC and NMPF believe the FMC should require ocean carriers to certify that they are complying with the agency’s guidelines. Additionally, the organization urge Congress to allocate sufficient resources to the FMC to ensure complaints of carrier malpractice are prioritized and investigations are expedited to prevent shipping carriers from engaging in unfair trade practices.