Biden signs ocean shipping reform bill
United States President Joe Biden signs the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 into law at the White House on Thursday. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo
June 16 (UPI) — President Joe Biden signed a bill Thursday to reform the ocean shipping industry in hope of relieving skyrocketing shipping costs along U.S. waterways.
Biden granted his signature to the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022, which seeks to ease issues in the supply chain and lower the cost of goods.
“I’ve said many times, tackling inflation is my number one priority,” Biden said. “It’s much too high here, and this bill is going to help bring down inflation at least marginally for farmers and businesses all across America.”
The law requires the Federal Maritime Commission to investigate complaints about late fees charged by ocean carriers and terminals and bars them from unreasonably refusing cargo space for U.S. shipments.
“[The legislation] will help lower costs for American retailers, farmers and consumers,” Biden said in a statement on Monday. “In my State of the Union address, I called on Congress to address ocean carriers’ high prices and unfair practices because rising ocean shipping costs are a major contributing factor to increased costs for American families.”
Biden said during the pandemic, ocean carriers increased their prices by as much as 1,000%. He said some ocean carriers refused to take U.S. exports back to Asia, leaving them with empty containers.
“That’s costing farmers and ranchers — and our economy — a lot of money,” Biden said. “This bill will make progress reducing costs for families and ensuring fair treatment for American businesses — including farmers and ranchers.”
Biden had praised the bipartisan efforts in the House and Senate to craft legislation that will address what he believes are unfair practices that drove up ocean shipping prices.
“It’s time to get America’s supply chain rolling again,” he said.