Hoeven Joins Thune, Klobuchar in Urging Investigation of Ocean Carrier Violations

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week joined Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in urging the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to continue to investigate reports of unreasonable practices by ocean carriers such as refusal to carry certain agriculture products to Asia from U.S. ports. The Pacific Northwest is the primary export location for North Dakota crops to gain access to markets, and as Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Hoeven continues working to secure access to foreign markets for farmers.

“The need is urgent, especially with record container volumes at the nation’s major ports. These volumes, and the resulting congestion, will only grow as the global economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic,” the senators wrote. “Producers rely on competitive access to foreign markets, and the reported actions by certain Vessel-Operating Common Carriers to undermine this access pose significant ramifications for agricultural exporters and the industry at large.” 

“North Dakota soybean growers rely on access to markets, and that includes the ability to deliver products quickly and efficiently. The current container shortage and resulting disruptions pose major problems for producers,” said Joe Ericson, North Dakota Soybean Growers Association President. “We appreciate Sen. Hoeven and his colleagues bringing attention to this issue, and we urge FMC to act quickly and provide relief to growers.”

In addition to Hoeven, Thune and Klobuchar, the letter was signed by Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).