From Staff Reports
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall on Wednesday had a conversation with President Biden regarding challenges being experienced by U.S. farmers and ranchers, and used the opportunity to push for final Congressional action on the Ocean Shipping Reform Act to address the backlog at the nation’s ports.
“I had a good discussion with President Biden today about several issues, including the importance of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act to America’s farmers and ranchers. He wholeheartedly agreed that we must get past the bottleneck at our ports to get America back on the move and that means breaking the logjam on Capitol Hill,” Duvall said in a news release. “The President thanked farmers and ranchers for weighing-in on the need for reform and I assured him that we will continue pressing hard for passage of a final bill now that both Houses of Congress have cleared versions of it with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Duvall added that the ongoing supply chain issues and record-high shipping costs “have limited agricultural exports at a time when our trading partners need us more than ever.”
“As I told the President today, estimates suggest we’ve lost out on more than $25 billion in agricultural exports over the past six months due to ocean shipping constraints. That’s unacceptable, Duvall added. “America’s farmers and ranchers need the House and Senate to work together and get this bill across this finish line and make our ocean transportation system more competitive and efficient so we can continue putting dinner on the table for families in America and overseas.
Duvall said he and the president also discussed the limited supplies and rapidly rising prices for items such as food and fuel, which are vital to food production.
“President Biden assured me he knows farmers are hurting and he’s interested in learning more,” Duvall said. “He invited me to bring some folks to the White House so we can roll up our sleeves and work together to address the challenges facing farmers and ranchers.”