GAO to Examine West Coast Port Disruption

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) has asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine the economic impact and disruption caused by the recent labor dispute affecting West Coast ports. Fischer chairs the Senate Commerce Committee’s Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure Subcommittee.

An April 15 letter to Comptroller General Gene Dodaro asks the GAO to examine the following issues:

  • Implications of the port disruptions for different industries and whether it resulted in “increased transportation costs, inventory shortfalls or market share losses.”
  • How alternative transportation modes affected industry supply chains.
  • Costs and impacts of cargo shifts to ports on the U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico, Canada and Mexico.
  • “Current condition of infrastructure at our West Coast ports” and their ability to withstand future disruptions.

Fischer requested that the GAO submit a report of its findings no later than Oct. 15, 2016.