NPPC Urges Congress to Address Port Bottlenecks

USAgNet - 06/21/2021

Expansion of export markets is crucial to the continued success of the U.S. pork industry and U.S. pork annually ships more than $7 billion to foreign destinations. However, recent shipping delays at U.S. international ports are disrupting exports and if not soon addressed, could lead to serious bottlenecks for pork and other agriculture exports, NPPC President Jen Sorenson testified before a House Transportation Subcommittee.

All U.S. ports are experiencing shipping delays, but the West Coast is the most heavily impacted since it sends product to Asian-Pacific destinations. The Asia-Pacific region is the top region for U.S. pork exports.

"Currently there are over 1,000 containers of pork sitting at West Coast ports waiting to be exported," Sorenson testified. "Shipping delays to the Asia-Pacific region are increasing costs and positioning the United States as an unreliable trading partner. If left unaddressed, this may also negatively impact future trade agreements with Southeast Asian trading partners as we seek better market access for U.S. pork," Sorenson said.

Among recommendations to alleviate the port bottlenecks, she urged for expanded operating hours for U.S. ports, and expedited Federal Maritime Commission enforcement preventing unreasonable financial penalties for exporters.

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