This week, the United States Senate moved three transportation bills that have a direct impact of the fresh produce industry.
- On Thursday, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a markup on the Port Transparency Act (S. 1298). This legislation has broad support from organizations representing manufacturers, farmers and agribusiness, wholesalers, retailers, importers, exporters, distributors, transportation and logistics providers. The legislation establishes port performance measurement and reporting programs along with reporting requirements before and during port labor negotiations. This will be an important tool that will give key government agencies a lenses into what disruptions are occurring.
- The Senate Appropriations Committee approved today the FY2016 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill. This legislation, which includes $1.88 billion more in additional funding than the FY2015 legislation, also addresses several regulatory issues related to Hours of Service along with size and weight limit requirements.
- Finally, the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee approved a six-year $278 billion highway bill on Wednesday. While the legislation does not have a funding mechanism, which continues to be the major obstacle for a long-term highway reauthorization bill, it does move forward much needed legislation that can address a number of key agriculture transportation issues.
United Fresh will continue to engage on these transportation legislative issues closely working with industry allies and coalition partners to ensure the safe and efficient movement of fruits and vegetables here in the United States and abroad.