The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 is Key to Resolving Our Supply Chain Crisis

December 9, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — The American Economic Liberties Project today released the following statement in response to the bipartisan passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 is key to resolving our supply chain crisis, and taking on the ocean shipping cartel that has clogged up our ports,” said Matt Stoller, Director of Research at the American Economic Liberties Project. “Three ocean carrier alliances control 90% of the shipping market, and are on track to earn over $150 billion this year in excess profits. They have no interest in resolving the problems that are delaying shipments. After all, delays let them charge extra fees to everyone else in the supply chain who depend on them.”

“In the 1980s and 1990s, Congress defanged our regulators, stripping the Federal Maritime Commission of the legal authority to stop this cartel from exploiting their dominant position. That’s where this new legislation comes in,” added Stoller. “This bill lets the Federal Maritime Commission stop the ocean carrier cartel from charging unreasonable fees or imposing unreasonable terms of service, end retaliation against the little guy, help exporters currently blocked from getting access to container ship capacity, and investigate a broad range of unfair practices. It is truly a landmark piece of anti-monopoly legislation, and we encourage the Senate to pass it swiftly.”

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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.