East Coast Gulf Coast Port Labor Negotiations Coalition Letter to President Biden Final 062524


June 25, 2024


Dear President Biden,

On behalf of the undersigned organizations representing manufacturers, farmers and agribusinesses, wholesalers, retailers, importers, exporters, distributors, transportation and logistics providers, and other supply chain stakeholders, we are writing to you regarding labor negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX). This labor contract, which covers all maritime ports along the East and Gulf coasts, is set to expire on September 30, 2024. Negotiations were set to begin again on the master contract the week of June 10. Unfortunately, the ILA issued a press release on June 10 stating they would not return to the bargaining table because of a local issue. In addition, the ILA has threatened a coastwide strike if a new deal is not reached before the current contract expires. We call upon the administration to immediately work with both parties to resume contract negotiations and ensure there is no disruption to port operations and cargo fluidity.

One of the key priorities for the administration has been supply chain resiliency and addressing ongoing supply chain challenges. We continue to see maritime supply chain challenges from the ongoing Houthi attacks on vessels transiting the Red Sea. This has led to other supply chain issues: congestion and lack of equipment at overseas ports, carrier capacity issues as they continue to divert vessels away from the Red Sea, and increased freight rates.

With all these existing challenges, the last thing the supply chain, companies and employees — all of which rely on the movement of goods, both imports and exports, through our East Coast and Gulf Coast ports — need is a strike or other disruptions because of an ongoing labor negotiation. As this administration has seen, even the threat of a strike or disruption can have a negative impact on the supply chain.

Such disruptions and their negative economic impact are well documented. We witnessed a significant shift of cargo from the West Coast to the East Coast and Gulf Coast ports because of the challenges and uncertainty during the last West Coast port labor negotiations. While much of that business has remained at the East Coast and Gulf Coast ports, we are starting to see a shift back to West Coast gateways, where a long-term contract is in place, especially as we enter the busy peak shipping season.

We know there are a number of issues for the ILA and USMX to negotiate as part of the contract. However, the only way to resolve these issues is for the parties to come back to the bargaining table and actually negotiate the new contract. We encourage the administration to provide any and all support to the parties in their negotiations so they can reach a final agreement before the current contract expires.

As we have seen with previous supply chain-related negotiations, the only way the parties can reach an agreement that will ensure their continued global competitiveness and that of the supply chain stakeholders that rely upon them is to remain at the table until a new agreement is finalized.


Agribusiness Council of Indiana

Agriculture Transportation Coalition - AgTC

Airforwarders Association

Alliance for Automotive Innovation

Alliance for Chemical Distribution


American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)

American Chemistry Council

American Coatings Association, Inc.

American Composites Manufacturers Association

American Down and Feather Council

American Feed Industry Association

American Forest & Paper Association

American Frozen Foods Institute

American Home Furnishings Alliance

American Lighting Association

American Pyrotechnics Association

American Soybean Association

American Spice Trade Association

American Trucking Associations


Arizona Trucking Association

Associated Builders and Contractors

Associated Equipment Distributors

Autos Drive America

California Bean Shippers Association

California Building Industry Association

California Citrus Mutual

CAWA - Representing the Automotive Parts Industry

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade

Columbia River Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association

Consumer Brands Association

Cotton Growers Warehouse Association

Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)

Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of Northern California

Customs Brokers & International Freight Forwarders Association of Washington State

Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

Fashion Accessories Shippers Association

Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Trade Association

Florida Retail Federation

Florida Trucking Association

FMI - The Food Industry Association

Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America (FDRA)

Foreign Trade Association

Forest Resources Association

Game Manufacturers Association

Gemini Shippers Association

Georgia Motor Trucking Association, Inc.

Georgia Retailers

Glass Packaging Institute

Global Cold Chain Alliance

Grain and Feed Association of Illinois

Green Coffee Association, Inc.

Greenabl Shippers Association

Heating, Air-conditioning, & Refrigeration Distributors International

Home Fashion Products Association

Household & Commercial Products Association

Illinois Retail Merchants Association

Independent Electrical Contractors

Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference

International Association of Movers

International Dairy Foods Association

International Fresh Produce Association

International Housewares Association

International Shippers’ Association

International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA)

International Wood Products Association

Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association

Kansas Chamber & Kansas Retail Council

Kentucky Retail Federation

Leather and Hide Council of America

Louisiana Retailers Association

Los Angeles Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association

Maryland Retailers Alliance

Meat Import Council of America

Meat Institute

MEMA, The Vehicle Suppliers Association

Michigan Retailers Association

Minnesota Grain and Feed Association

Missouri Retailers Association

Motorcycle Industry Council

National Association of Beverage Importers (NABI)

National Association of Egg Farmers

National Association of Manufacturers

National Association of Wheat Growers

National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

National Cotton Council

National Council of Chain Restaurants

National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA)

National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)

National Fisheries Institute

National Industrial Transportation League (NITL)

National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association

National Milk Producers Federation

National Oilseed Processors Association

National Pork Producers Council

National Restaurant Association

National Retail Federation

National Sporting Goods Association

National Wooden Pallet & Container Association

Nebraska Trucking Association

Nevada Trucking Association

New Jersey Motor Truck Association

New Jersey Retail Merchants Association

New York New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association Inc.

North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM)

North American Home Furnishings Association

North American Millers’ Association

North American Renderers Association

North Carolina Agribusiness Council, Inc.

Oregon Trucking Association

Pacific Coast Council of Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Assns. Inc.

Pennsylvania Retailers’ Association

Plumbing Manufacturers International

PRINTING United Alliance

Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association

Recycled Materials Association

Renewable Fuels Association

Retail Association of Nevada

Retail Council of New York State

Retail Industry Leaders Association

Retail Merchants of Hawaii

Retailers Association of Massachusetts

Rhode Island Trucking Association

San Diego Customs Brokers Association

Shippers Coalition

Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA)

South Dakota Association of Cooperatives

South Dakota Soybean Association

Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)

Specialty Vehicle Institute of America

Sports & Fitness Industry Association

Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute

Tea Association of the U.S.A., Inc.

Texas Retailers Association

Texas Trucking Association

The Fertilizer Institute

The Halloween & Costume Association

The Sulphur Institute

The Sweet Potato Council of the US

Toy Association

Transportation Intermediaries Association

Travel Goods Association (TGA)

Trucking Association of New York

U.S. Apple Association

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Dairy Export Council

U.S. Fashion Industry Association

U.S. Meat Export Federation

USA Rice

Vinyl Institute

Virginia Trucking Association

Washington Trucking Associations

West Virginia Retailers Association

Window & Door Manufacturers Association

Wine Institute

Wood Industry Association

CC: The Honorable Pete Buttigieg, Secretary, Department of Transportation
The Honorable Julie Su, Acting Secretary, Department of Labor
The Honorable Gina Raimondo, Secretary, Department of Commerce
The Honorable Tom Vilsack, Secretary, Department of Agriculture
The Honorable Lael Brainard, Director, National Economic Council
Mr. Harold Daggett, President, International Longshoremen’s Association
Mr. David Adam, President, United States Maritime Alliance

East Coast Gulf Coast Port Labor Negotiations Coalition Letter to President Biden Final 062524