Last week, two California Democrats introduced the American Port Access Privileges Act in the House of Representatives.  John Garamendi and Jim Costa say the bill follows up on the Ocean Shipping Reform Act.

Representative Costa said, “We need to remove bottlenecks and mitigate congestion at our ports to carry out American exports.”

The legislation would ensure fair trade for U.S. businesses and keep hard-won foreign markets accessible to agricultural exporters by codifying the current preferences for military, Jones Act, and other U.S.-flagged vessels in place at many major American ports.  Additionally, the legislation would establish a secondary berthing preference for ocean-going commercial vessels servicing multiple ports in the United States, and ensure that the new preferential berthing would never interfere with U.S. Coast Guard orders for commercial vessels, port safety or collective bargaining agreements for port workers.

The legislation is endorsed by the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, National Milk Producers Federation, and the California Farm Bureau Federation.

If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail glenn.vaagen@townsquaremedia.com