US - A coalition of 92 food, agricultural and allied groups has called on both sides of the west coast port dispute to end the disruption.
The coalition has expressed deep disappointment in the failure to resolve the dispute, which has resulted in a severe slowdown of terminal activity at five west coast ports.
In a letter to both sides of the argument, the coalition urges the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) to take into account the impact the dispute is having on many of their fellow Americans and to resolve their differences as quickly as possible.
The letter also urges the federal government to consider all available remedies to bring this dispute to a rapid end.
The letter says: “This regrettable situation is having a severe impact on our ability to export agricultural and food products to many of our main export markets. Inevitably, these overseas customers will look to other sources for their supply of these goods. Similar to what we encountered after ill-advised export embargoes in the past, once lost, a foreign customer can be difficult to recapture. Additionally, the dispute is affecting imports from counter-seasonal production areas important for serving US consumers.
“A more immediate problem, however, is the effect the drastic reduction in containers being loaded is having on perishable commodities. Those goods are spoiling and being destroyed before they can be shipped or are being diverted to the domestic market at severe discounts. This represents an unconscionable waste of food products and a serious loss in revenue for US producers.”
The letter concludes: “We urge the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) to take into account the impact this dispute is having on many of their fellow Americans and to resolve their differences as quickly as possible. We also urge the federal government to consider all available remedies to bring this dispute to a rapid end. The interests and welfare of more than just the union and the terminals are at stake.”
The North American Meat Institute, one of the signatories of the letter has also continued to highlight the dispute's impact on the meat and poultry industry in the media with stories in the Wall Street Journal, Economist and multiple agriculture trade press outlets featuring NAMI data and comments.
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