Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Salud Carbajal (D-CA), and Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) have applauded House passage of S. 3580, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022. The legislation has been sent to President Biden for his signature.
This bipartisan and bicameral legislation was based on H.R. 4996, which passed the House in December, and aims to take key steps toward easing current supply chain challenges by expanding the authority of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to promote U.S. exports through a maritime system that is transparent, efficient, and fair. Specifically, the legislation:
- Expands safeguards to combat retaliation and deter unfair business practices
- Clarifies prohibited carrier practices pertaining to detention and demurrage charges and vessel space accommodation
- Establishes a shipping exchange registry through the FMC
- Expands penalty authority to include refund of charges
- Increases efficiency of the detention and demurrage complaint process
“Nine multinational ocean shipping companies formed three consortiums to raise prices on American businesses and consumers by over 1,000% on goods coming from Asia,” Garamendi said. “This allowed these foreign companies to make $190 billion in profits last year—a sevenfold increase in one year. I introduced the ‘Ocean Shipping Reform Act’ to provide the Federal Maritime Commission with the necessary tools to protect American businesses and consumers and address America’s longstanding trade imbalance with China and other countries.
“This bill will help crush inflation and protect American jobs. I’m grateful to Chair DeFazio for his support and advocacy for this bill, and I am pleased that the ‘Ocean Shipping Reform Act’ will soon be signed into law by President Biden.”
The bill text is available at www.congress.gov/117/bills/s3580/BILLS-117s3580es.pdf.