RELEASE: Gottheimer Helps Pass Bipartisan Bill to Combat Supply Chain Issues, Crack Down on Shipping Companies Price Gouging — Helps Cut Shipping Prices to Lower Costs of Everyday Products for Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation backed by U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, to combat supply chain issues and crack down on foreign-owned shipping companies that are gouging businesses and raising prices — to help directly cut costs that Jersey families see at the store or when they order products they need. This legislation will give the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) increased oversight over major ocean carriers by authorizing the FMC to investigate ocean carriers’ business practices and apply enforcement measures — to ensure there is no collusion and that companies are not jamming consumers for usurious profits.
This critical legislation takes major steps to mitigate supply chain issues and help ensure that businesses and consumers aren’t facing untenable delays and price increases.
The bipartisan Ocean Shipping Reform Act will:
- Combat outrageous shipping costs by strengthening FMC enforcement action against foreign-owned shipping companies exploiting and gouging businesses; and
- Improve shipping transparency and prohibit ocean carriers from unreasonably refusing to transport American cargo.
The bipartisan, bicameral legislation now heads to the President’s desk.
“We need to crack down on foreign-owned shipping companies that are gouging people and acting like a cartel to raise prices at a time when families are grappling with rising costs. We are currently facing a shipping and supply chain crisis. These supply chain issues, along with increasing costs and delays, are badly impacting our small businesses, families, and local economies,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I’m proud that the House passed this critical bipartisan, bicameral legislation I backed to alleviate pressure at our nation’s ports, support American businesses, and bring costs down. I urge the President to sign our legislation into law as soon as possible. This will provide crucial relief to hardworking families and small businesses in North Jersey and nationwide.”
The Problem Solvers Caucus, co-chaired by Gottheimer, endorsed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act.
Other key steps Gottheimer is taking to address the supply chain crisis as a part of his Affordability Agenda for Jersey include:
- “Strategic Shipping Reserve”: Gottheimer has called for the Administration to utilize the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) as a new “Strategic Shipping Reserve” to move critical goods in the oceans — as they are now doing with Operation Fly Formula, following Gottheimer successfully pushing the Administration to invoke the Defense Production Act. TRANSCOM has ships ready and waiting around the country that can handle containers to help address supply chain issues.
- “Ports that Perform” Incentives: In an effort to compete with the five major ocean carriers (all foreign-owned), boost our economy, and tackle supply chain issues, Gottheimer has called for ports like Newark that move goods faster to be given financial incentives, including to the port operators, truckers, and the men and women of the International Longshoremen’s Association. This will incentivize and further boost port efficiency.
- The COVID-19 Supply Chain Relief Act: Gottheimer introduced bipartisan legislation that will (1) institute a federal Supply Chain Czar and establish individual regional supply chain leaders to help coordinate interstate response to supply chain disruptions, shortages, and increased prices; (2) allow states to deploy unused COVID-19 relief funds to help address supply chain bottlenecks in their states; and (3) begin a thirty-day countdown clock on the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Transportation to report to Congress and the public on the major current chokepoints in our nation’s supply chain.