The view from the Holstein Express showcases the ideal weather for the sea voyage. Photo provided by Joe Miller.

Senate Commerce Committee passes Ocean Shipping Reform Act

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) lauded passage by the Senate Commerce Committee of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA). 

“Today’s action by the Senate Commerce Committee brings the Ocean Shipping Reform Act one step closer to passage,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Export supply chain issues continue to pose immense challenges to dairy exporters, which is why this legislation remains so critical as part of a broad-based approach to tackling those problems. Dairy farmers appreciate the leadership of OSRA sponsors Senators Klobuchar and Thune as well as Commerce Chair Cantwell and Ranking Member Wicker on this issue. We urge the Senate and House to expeditiously advance the conference process and ensure that the final text includes a strong focus on the needs of American agricultural exporters.” 

The approval establishes Senate committee support for action to address shipping supply chain challenges as Congress prepares to commence conference procedures on the Senate-passed U.S. Innovation & Competition Act (USICA) and the House-passed America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act in the coming weeks. The House COMPETES Act includes the House-passed version of OSRA.

“America’s dairy farmers and manufacturers are delighted to see the Ocean Shipping Reform Act continue to move forward and thank the many Senate Commerce Committee members who supported its approval today,” said Krysta Harden, president and CEO of USDEC. “Dairy exporters need the changes OSRA would deliver. As such, we encourage Congress to swiftly move the COMPETES/USICA conference work forward and send a bill that prioritizes the export shipping needs of U.S. agricultural exporters to the President’s desk.” 

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