House Passes the Ocean Shipping Reform Implementation Act

On March 21, 2024, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 393-24 to approve the Ocean Shipping Reform Implementation Act of 2023, which was introduced in March 2023 by Reps. John Garamendi (D-CA-08) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD-At Large). The bill’s primary focus is to address the influence of the Chinese government on the U.S. shipping industry. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) President Xi Jinping has frequently talked of his ambition to turn China into a “maritime superpower.” 

China owns or operates ports and terminals at nearly 100 locations in over 50 countries, spanning every ocean and every continent. Many are located along some of the world’s most strategic waterways. Most of the port investments have been made by companies owned by the Chinese government, effectively making Beijing and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) the biggest operator of the ports that lie at the heart of global supply chains. In addition, China controls a merchant fleet of more than 5,600 vessels with a capacity of 277 million deadweight tonnage, making it the second-largest ship-owning country in the world.

To curb China’s growing maritime influence, Reps. Garamendi and Johnson introduced the Ocean Shipping Reform Implementation Act of 2023 to bolster the enacted Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022. The legislation is designed to expand the Federal Maritime Commission's (FMC), the regulatory agency overseeing the ocean shipping industry, authority to regulate technology and anticompetitive practices within the international ocean transportation system.  

PRINTING United Alliance strongly supports the Ocean Shipping Reform Implementation Act of 2023, along with other associations, such as the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), with members that rely on a secure global supply chain. The printing industry uses maritime shipping for importing and exporting commercial-grade equipment, printing parts, paper, textiles, inks, and cleaning washes. And stronger supply chains and maritime shipping links are critical to consumers quality of life and growth of the U.S. economy.  

The legislation, which has been dubbed Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) 2.0, seeks to enact “good government” provisions excluded from the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022. OSRA 2.0 will further modernize ocean shipping and support American competitiveness. The key provisions found in OSRA 2.0 are as follows:

Tough on China

  • Establishes formal process to report complaints against shipping exchanges like the Shanghai Shipping Exchange to the Federal Maritime Commission for investigation.
  • Bans U.S. port authorities from using the Chinese state-sponsored National Transportation Logistics Public Information Platform (LOGINK) and similar state-sponsored malware.
  • Directs the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to contract an independent auditor to examine the influence of the People’s Republic of China on the business practices of the Shanghai Shipping Exchange and report to Congress.
  • Codifies the definition of “controlled carrier” under the Shipping Act to encompass state-controlled enterprises in non-market economies like the People’s Republic of China.

Supply Chain Data Standards

  • Authorizes the FMC to set new data standard for maritime freight logistics and use existing data standards or industry best practices, including contracting an expert third party to develop the new federal data standard if needed.

OSRA Good Government

  • Updates and improves the purposes of the Shipping Act to better reflect current federal policy governing international ocean shipping and establishes reciprocal trade as part of FMC’s mission in enforcing the Shipping Act.
  • Establishes an industry advisory committee to be made up of members from marine terminal operators and port authorities.
  • Prohibits the FMC from requiring ocean carriers to report information already reported to other federal agencies.

PRINTING United Alliance applauds Reps. Johnson and Garamendi for their leadership in drafting legislative solutions to help make U.S. supply chains more secure, resilient, sustainable, and efficient. The bipartisan bill now heads to the Senate for further debate. The Alliance commends the House for passing OSRA 2.0 and encourages swift consideration by the Senate. The Alliance will provide an update as developments occur.

In this article, Stephanie Buka, Government Affairs Coordinator, PRINTING United Alliance, addresses the Ocean Shipping Reform Implementation Act of 2023. More information can be found at Business Excellence-Legislation or reach out to Steph should you have additional questions specific to how these issues may affect your business:

To become a member of the Alliance and learn more about how our subject matter experts can assist your company with services and resources such as those mentioned in this article, please contact the Alliance membership team: 888-385-3588 /

Stephanie Buka Government Affairs Coordinator

Stephanie Buka is the Government Affairs Coordinator for PRINTING United Alliance. In this role, she supports Ford Bowers, CEO, the Government Affairs team, and coordinates efforts with lobbying firm, ACG Advocacy. She manages all aspects of grassroots advocacy campaigns, including facilitating timely call-to-action alerts and updates to The Advocacy Center on key federal and state legislative issues. As a member of the Office of Corporate Communications, Buka manages the content and audience building responsibilities for the Government Affairs team. She is also responsible for the administration of the Alliance's political action committee, PrintPAC.

Prior to joining the Alliance, Buka served as a senior legislative researcher, and later as a constituent services coordinator, for the 15-member legislative body representing 1.3 million residents of Allegheny County, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In addition to drafting legislation and addressing constituent concerns, Buka cultivated strong relationships with appointed and elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels of government.

Buka holds a master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA). She also earned a master's degree in Criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, along with a Certificate in Forensic Science and Law from Duquesne University.