Urgent action on Baltimore port and bridge collapse

USAgNet - 04/01/2024

In a critical response to the recent infrastructure crisis in Baltimore, senior officials from the White House, USDA, and DOT convened with state and agricultural stakeholders to address the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and the Port of Baltimore's partial closure. This meeting aimed to assess the situation's impact on the agriculture and food sectors and formulate immediate actions to mitigate supply chain disruptions.

Alex Jacquez of the National Economic Council and Andrew Petrisin of DOT led the discussion, emphasizing the administration's priority to quickly reopen the port to prevent extensive losses in the agriculture sector. The meeting followed a previous session led by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, focusing on collaborative efforts to alleviate the crisis and future supply chain challenges.

Maryland state representatives and agriculture sector participants highlighted the critical need to resume port operations to support local farmers and ensure the continuity of agricultural exports. Concerns were raised about the broader implications of the closure, urging the federal government to also monitor other East Coast ports handling diverted shipments.

Participants included a wide range of organizations, from the American Farm Bureau Federation to the National Milk Producers Federation, all sharing a common goal of addressing the direct and indirect impacts of this disruption on producers and the overall food supply chain. The meeting underscored a collective determination to navigate the challenges posed by the bridge collapse and port closure, ensuring swift and efficient solutions to maintain the stability of the U.S. agriculture industry.


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