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Readout of Meeting with Agricultural Stakeholders on the Port of Baltimore and Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse

Today, senior leadership from the White House, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) convened a meeting of federal, state, agricultural, and food industry stakeholders to discuss impacts to the agriculture and food sectors from the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and partial closure of the Port of Baltimore. The meeting included Alex Jacquez, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Development and Industrial Strategy at the National Economic Council; Andrew Petrisin, Advisor for Multimodal Freight at DOT; and senior leadership from USDA.

The convening follows yesterday’s meeting convened by U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg with ports, labor groups, and industry partners to discuss how to mitigate current and future supply chain disruptions stemming from the suspension of vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Baltimore, as well as a meeting earlier this week of the Biden-Harris Administration Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, where Task Force members shared analysis of sectors with significant activity through the Port of Baltimore.

During the meeting, representatives from White House, USDA, and DOT provided an update on the developing situation, reiterating the President’s commitment to move heaven and earth to reopen the port as soon as possible. They underscored the federal government’s continued close monitoring of impacts on local, regional, and national supply chains, particularly given the Port’s importance to agricultural commodities and machinery, as well as impacts on workers associated with activities at the Port. They noted ongoing preparations for wreckage cleanup and reopening operations, and provided a readout of Secretary Buttigieg’s meeting with ports, labor groups, and industry partners yesterday. In addition, they invited participants to share their perspectives and questions.

Participants from the Maryland state government emphasized the need to reopen the Port’s shipping lanes as soon as possible to minimize the impact on exports of local producers’ crops.

Participants from the food and agricultural sector noted they are working to collect further information from producers regarding direct and indirect impacts they have seen from the partial closure of the Port, as well as the need for the federal government to monitor operations at other East Coast ports as shipments are diverted.

The meeting included participants from the following organizations:

  • American Farm Bureau Federation
  • American Feed Industry Association
  • American Soybean Association
  • American Sugar Alliance
  • American Sugar Refining (Domino)
  • D.R. Schaal Agency, Inc.
  • International Dairy Foods Association
  • Lippy Brothers Farms
  • Maryland Department of Agriculture
  • National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
  • National Confectioners Association
  • National Economic Council
  • National Farmers Union
  • National Grain & Feed Association
  • National Grocers Association
  • National Milk Producers Federation
  • Office of the United States Trade Representative
  • Perdue Farms
  • The Fertilizer Institute
  • U.S Ag Export Development Council/DTB AgriTrade
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Department of Transportation