United Fresh, PMA, WGA, and More Ask Lawrence Kudlow and Sonny Perdue to Help Ensure Free Movement
WASHINGTON, DC - The associations that help to ensure our industry's interests and needs have kept a busy pace since the COVID-19 situation began. Recently, nearly every aspect of agriculture and food came together to send a letter to Lawrence Kudlow, Director of the United States National Economic Council, and Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, addressing the issues in maritime supply chain trade and transportation.
Signed by 80 different associations and parties, including the United Fresh Produce Association, Produce Marketing Association, Western Growers Association, and many more, the letter addresses the impacts restrictions laid out by the Federal Maritime Commission have had on the U.S. agriculture and forestry industry, and therefore access to fresh food.
“The undersigned organizations, representing virtually every sector in the U.S. food and agriculture supply chain, request your urgent engagement to ensure the continued free movement via shipping containers to international markets of critical food and agricultural products,” the letter states. “Specifically, we seek your engagement with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) regarding the ongoing unconscionable imposition of millions of dollars of unfair detention and demurrage penalties on U.S. agriculture by ocean carriers and Marine Terminal Operators during the coronavirus crisis.”
According to the letter, the FMC has developed a Proposed Interpretive Rule that the signed parties cite as creating ongoing injury to U.S. agriculture and forestry industries from unjustified penalties, especially with the challenges posed by the coronavirus, such as equipment issues beyond the control of the shipper or motor carrier.
Click here to read the letter in its entirety.
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