The 1696 "Ocean Shipping Antitrust Enforcement Act" bill that was unveiled on Wednesday in the U.S. House of Representatives and which provides for the repeal of some exemptions over US antitrust laws, including those reserved for liner shipping, is strongly endorsed by the World Shipping Council (WSC), the association that represents the world's leading containerized shipping companies, according to which the US Shipping Act, as it is, "It sets out rules that provide legal certainty to maritime carriers in order to share cargo spaces on ships by ensuring competitive markets."
Objective of the Ocean Shipping Antitrust Enforcement Act is to repeal the exemption to foreign shipping carriers over all federal antitrust laws. "For too long, Congressman Jim Costa, the draftsman of the bill-foreign maritime monopolies have manipulated the shipping sector and used unfair trade practices, harming exporters and exporters," said the report's rapporteur. American consumers. We have seen delays, congestion and empty containers leave American ports and this is unfair and it makes the costs go smoothing. My legislation will bring back responsibility on foreign monopolies, reduce costs and establish a level playing field in shipping. Merchant ships flying the foreign flag must understand that access to the American market and its consumers is a privilege, not a right. Congress needs to bring a balance back into our ports and address the long-standing trade imbalance that America has with regard to China and other nations. Big business must abide by the rules and maritime carriers flying the foreign flag-Costa said-they enjoy an exemption from the federal antitrust law of which no other transport sector enjoys : neither the airlines nor the airlines. railways, nor the auto transport sector. This legislation brings us a step closer to protecting American consumers and companies from inflated prices imposed by maritime carriers flying foreign flags. "
"No one has offered a valid reason why we should throw away such a useful tool as the Vessel Sharing Agreements (VSA)," the World Shipping Council said in a statement. "We have a deal to share the ships between the two countries." ride-hailing companies and which are the carrier pillar of the current networks of containerized maritime transport services. " The possibility of sharing space on ships allows multiple carriers to provide more services more efficiently to more ports than carriers could do individually, and that is good for shippers, for the ports, for consumers and for all workers who maintain the global network of supplies in operation. HR 1696 would suppress such a system and would undermine the competitiveness and choice of liner shipping services. "
Recalling that a similar bill had been presented to the last Congress without collecting significant support, WSC Chairman and CEO John Butler said he was convinced that the setting of the new bill " derives from a misunderstanding about how VSA helps supply chain to work better. We look forward to working with the sponsors of the bill in order to better understand their political goals, " he said.