Senator Cramer and colleagues are calling on President Biden to engage in ongoing contract talks at West Coast ports

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) joined Sen. Braun (R-IN) and 14 Senate colleagues in sending a follow-up letter calling on President Biden to engage with stakeholders and Congress on ongoing contract negotiations at US West Coast ports. . While negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) began on May 10, 2022, it was reported that contract negotiations had already been suspended once.

In March, Senators Cramer, Braun and 18 other senators originally wrote that they were concerned that the delay in negotiating contracts could lead to additional supply chain disruptions, worsening freight congestion and further harm to manufacturing in the United States. To date this letter has not received a response.

The latest letter, addressed to President Biden, outlines how U.S. Congressional representatives are urging the President to work with both the ILWU and the PMA, to ensure contract negotiations are completed before the contract expiration date. July 1, 2022.

“We are concerned about the lack of response to the previous letter that your administration does not share the same urgency raised by stakeholders and Congress,” write the senators. “If negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) are not completed before the contract expires on July 1, experience shows that there is likely to be further disruption in our nation’s supply chain, which exacerbate freight congestion and hurt manufacturing and agriculture in our states. We urge you to work with the ILWU and the PMA, and to engage with stakeholders and Congress, on this critical issue.

The latest letter, addressed to President Biden, outlines how U.S. Congressional representatives are urging the President to work with both the ILWU and the PMA, to ensure contract negotiations are completed before the contract expiration date. July 1, 2022.

“We are concerned about the lack of response to the previous letter that your administration does not share the same urgency raised by stakeholders and Congress,” write the senators. “If negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) are not completed before the contract expires on July 1, experience shows that there is likely to be further disruption in our nation’s supply chain, which exacerbate freight congestion and hurt manufacturing and agriculture in our states. We urge you to work with the ILWU and the PMA, and to engage with stakeholders and Congress, on this critical issue.

Background:

  • If negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) are not completed before the contract expires on July 1, experience shows that there is likely to be further disruption in our nation’s supply chain, which exacerbate freight congestion and hurt manufacturing and agriculture in our states.
  • Historically, negotiations between the ILWU and the PMA have created deadlocks, even in times of economic prosperity.
  • These negotiations concern 22,400 dockers, 70 employers and 29 ports. In 2002, there was a breakdown in negotiations that resulted in an 11-day lockout and an estimated cost of $1 billion a day.
  • In 2014, the negotiations lasted 10 months, resulting in billions in increased costs for American businesses.
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