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Rep. Dan Newhouse wants to prevent West Coast port slowdowns

PASCO, Wash. -- Congressman Dan Newhouse is drafting a bill that could protect Washington state's agriculture producers from economic disaster.

Earlier today Newhouse visited Easterday Farms' potato warehouse in Pasco to introduce the Economics Act. The draft comes in response to the West Coast ports slowdown that took nine months of negotiations before being resolved. Washington state potato growers estimated a loss of $23.5 million dollars each month during the slowdown.

The Economics Act would allow for an emergency intervention to take place during a slowdown to prevent massive losses.

"Regardless of who's at fault and we're not pointing fingers at any particular party. We need to ensure that one side cannot negatively harm so many and congress must provide additional tools to keep supply chains operating and the economy running," said Newhouse.

The current contract between the PMA and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union will expire in July of 2019.

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