Reichert Commends West Coast Ports Contract Agreement

Aug 5, 2017 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Trade

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) released the following statement after the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) announced a three-year extension to their current contract, which was originally set to expire in 2019.  Congressman Reichert led a bipartisan group of his colleagues calling for an early extension of the contract.

The ILWU and PMA began these discussions early because of prolonged contract negotiations in 2014-2015 that led to a months-long slowdown at ports in Washington State and across the West Coast. The slowdown cost farmers, manufacturers, and retailers across the western U.S. hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and decreased the region’s foreign market share.

“This news will bring greater confidence to the countless farmers, workers, and businesses across our region who rely on our strong ports and who suffered millions in losses during the 2014-2015 disruption,” said Rep. Reichert. “I commend the ILWU and PMA for taking action to prevent the situation from repeating itself. Washington State is home to many of the world’s highest quality agricultural products and goods that consumers around the world demand. With this agreement comes certainty for our exporters and their customers.”

Additional Information:

In October 2016, Washington Rep. Reichert, joined by Rep. Dan Newhouse and Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader led a letter urging both the ILWU and PMA to continue discussing an extension of their current contract covering operations at the 29 West Coast container ports. 

In April 2016, Washington Reps. Reichert and Dan Newhouse led a letter to both parties encouraging the organizations to discuss options in order to prevent future port disruptions similar to the 2014-2015 slowdown at West Coast ports.

In August 2015, Rep. Reichert introduced H.R. 3433, the Protecting Orderly and Responsible Transit of Shipment (PORTS) Act to reduce the threat of harmful economic impacts of disruptions at U.S. ports.

In February 2015, Washington Rep. Reichert and Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader led a bipartisan letter calling upon both parties to put aside their differences and quickly resolve the contract negotiation that had bogged down the operations of West Coast ports.