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West Coast port study requested

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE), chairman of the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security, is requesting that the Government Accountability Office examine the cost of West Coast ports disruptions that took effect during the nine months of labor negotiations. She asked the GAO to examine the following items.

  • What are the implications of disruptions at West Coast ports for various industries (agriculture, retail, manufacturing)?
  • How have shifts to alternative transportation modes, including truck, rail, inland waterways or aviation affected industry supply chains?
  • What are the costs and impacts of regional changes in freight movements due to the West Coast ports slowdown, including shifts to southern or eastern U.S. ports and Canadian and Mexican ports?
  • What is the current condition of infrastructure to our West Coast ports?
  • What is the status of its ability to withstand future disruptions to port operations?

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association reached a labor agreement in February and the union membership will vote on the agreement next month.

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