Biden’s State of the Union — Ocean Carriers on the Firing Line

On March 1, President Biden delivered a stinging rebuke to ocean carriers in his State of the Union, stating “I’m a capitalist, but capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism. It’s exploitation — and it drives up prices. When corporations don’t have to compete, their profits go up, your prices go up, and small businesses and family farmers and ranchers go under. We see it happening with ocean carriers moving goods in and out of America. During the pandemic, these foreign-owned companies raised prices by as much as 1000% and made record profits. Tonight, I’m announcing a crackdown on these companies overcharging American businesses and consumers.” On February 28, the White House detailed those actions, which include going after anti-competitive practices by ocean carriers; pushing Congress to approve the TGA-supported Ocean Shipping Reform Act; and pushing Congress to approve new bi-partisan legislation to strip anti-trust immunity for ocean carriers. While these steps are positive, TGA continues to push President Biden for more action, and immediate relief for the industry (see above).