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President Biden signed Ocean Shipping Reform Act into law

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President Joe Biden signed into law the Ocean Shipping Reform Act Thursday afternoon, applauded by the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF President Zippy Duvall attended the signing ceremony at the White House and says the Biden administration worked with Farm Bureau to support passage of the bill.

“The Biden administration has been a strong ally for us in working to get this bill across the finish line. And last week President Biden called me himself to talk about why farmers and ranchers need ocean shipping reform, and we had a great conversation. Today, I was at the White House with President Biden as he signed that bill into law. We look forward to building on my relationship with him to work towards solutions of other issues that are facing our farmers and ranchers.”

Duvall says the legislation addresses supply chain obstacles.

“The Ocean Shipping Reform Act is a bipartisan bill that would take key steps to resolving maritime supply chain obstacles that are increasing costs to our U.S. agricultural exporters and preventing our farmers from getting their products overseas. Now that it’s law, it will provide a new oversight and enforcement authority through the Federal Maritime Commission, expanding the opportunities for our shippers to solve conflicts with the ocean carriers and to increase transparency and accountability among those ocean carriers.”

Duvall says the ongoing supply chain issues and record-high shipping costs have limited agriculture exports at time when trading partners need the U.S. more than ever.

“We are ready to meet the demands of American grown products here at home and abroad, but it requires a well-functioning supply chain. Limiting trade also negatively affects our farmers, it affects our ability to get much needed supplies like fertilizer, which will ultimately drive up the cost of growing food for American families. Farmers have already lost up to $25 billion of agricultural exports this year because of the lack of access to export containers and record shipping costs, and harmful surcharges.”

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