Ocean Shipping Reform Act is Key to Resolving Our Supply Chain Crisis

March 31, 2022 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — The American Economic Liberties Project today released the following statement in response to the Senate’s passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act.

“Congratulations to Senators Amy Klobuchar and John Thune for today’s Senate passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. This legislation is key to resolving our supply chain crisis, and taking on the ocean shipping cartel that has clogged up our ports,” said Matt Stoller, Research Director at the American Economic Liberties Project. “Three ocean carrier alliances control more than 80% of the shipping market, and earned $190 billion in aggregate last year, imposing a de facto private tariff on American imports of up to 20%. These shipping barons have no interest in resolving the problems that are delaying shipments, because they are making record profits in this massive traffic jam. Meanwhile, American exporters can’t get their goods out of our ports because these same carriers refuse to ship their products to foreign markets.”

“This legislation will address these problems,” added Stoller. “The House passed its version of this legislation in December, and some version of this legislation will pass and be signed into law later this year. Such action represents the first major re-regulation of an industry sector in thirty years. While both versions will be a dramatic improvement in our regulatory framework, the House version of the bill is more detailed and aggressive on the problem of exports, and we encourage the conferees to adopt those provisions in the final bill. The Senate version includes a provision to crack down on discriminatory pricing, and we encourage the conferees to adopt that provision as well.”

To learn more about consolidation in shipping, see Matt Stoller’s “Too Big to Sail: How a Legal Revolution Clogged Our Ports” here.

Learn more about Economic Liberties here.



The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.