UPDATED 3:05 PM PT – Friday, June 17 2022
President Joe Biden signed legislation to improve the oversight of ocean shipping. The “Ocean Shipping Reform Act” was signed Thursday. It is designed to help curb inflation, ease shipping back-logs and lower costs for American families. The bill prohibits ocean carriers from refusing to carry US exports.
“This bill is going to help bring down inflation at least marginally for farmers and businesses all across America,” said Biden.
The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 is an example of what government looks like when we work together across the aisle to solve the real problems facing families.
I’m proud to have signed the bill to bring down costs for American businesses and the families that rely on them. pic.twitter.com/OLUXVggZxu
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 17, 2022
The bill also gives the Federal Maritime Commission the authority to investigate late fees charged by ocean carriers and terminals, which in turn are passed on to consumers and added to inflation. Extra fees for transporting countless products are a hidden and a large source of inflation controlled by ocean carriers.
“During the pandemic, these carriers increased their prices by as much as 1,000%, 1,000%,” Biden voiced. “While families and businesses struggled around the world, these carriers made $190 billion in profit in 2021. Seven times higher than the year before.”
The vast majority of global ocean shipping is controlled by nine major companies.
During the pandemic, these carriers increased their prices as much as 1,000% — the bipartisan Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 allows us to crack down on those excessive hikes.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 16, 2022
The law also requires carriers to provide quarterly updates of imports, exports and empty export containers. The provision comes in the wake of a recent CNBC report that showed ocean carriers denying US exports, but sending empty containers back to china to be filled with their goods.