Thompson, Costa, Lee, Garamendi, Maritime Commission Hold Roundtable on California Agricultural Priorities and Supply Chains

Press Release

Posted: November 4, 2022

Oakland – Yesterday, Representatives Mike Thompson (CA-05), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Jim Costa (CA-16), and John Garamendi (CA-03), along with Chair of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chair Daniel B. Maffei held a roundtable discussion with California leaders and agriculture producers to discuss supply chain disruptions in the international shipping industry and the impacts on American businesses and consumers.

Lawmakers visited the Port of Oakland, which serves as an essential export gateway for California agricultural goods. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which all members helped pass, the port was awarded a $36 million grant to address port congestion and help improve the movement of goods. These investments will also help support the port’s roadmap to becoming a zero-emissions port.

Following the roundtable, lawmakers highlighted their efforts to address supply chain issues at the federal level. A video of the press conference is available here.

“The Port of Oakland serves as a gateway for both importers and exporters, and our agriculture community relies on efficient operations to process their goods,” said Thompson. “The COVID-19 pandemic greatly disrupted these operations and weakened our supply chains, in turn harming our growers and producers. This meeting provided us an opportunity to discuss commonsense solutions to this issue and how we can strengthen our supply chains and support our agriculture community. I’m proud to work with devoted leaders like Reps. Lee, Costa, and Garamendi to ensure that our farmers’ voices are heard at the federal level.”

“We are working to enhance our supply chain security by investing in our infrastructure and making products in America. Doing so will reduce our dependence on foreign countries like China for critical goods and lower prices for consumers. This roundtable emphasized the work in progress to confront the supply chain crisis and improve our economy,” said Costa.

“During the pandemic, international trade on the California coast was disrupted in an unprecedented way. We know how much these delays have harmed California’s critical agricultural industry and those who rely on these producers,” said Lee. “We can’t stop here. We’re going to continue this discussion to improve maritime backlog in the future with a conservation approach. I’m thankful to my colleagues in Congress, community leaders, agricultural producers, and the Port for their contributions to this effort, and look forward to lending federal support for a more efficient and resilient supply chain.”

“It was an honor to join my California Congressional colleagues for a tour of the Port of Oakland and a discussion on our efforts to address supply chain issues and lower costs on essential goods for Americans. This year, my Ocean Shipping Reform Act was signed into law to address the logjam at American ports and crack down on the imbalanced trade relationship we have with China and other nations. Thank you to everyone who participated in this important discussion,” said Garamendi.