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keeping a safe and reliable food supply is among the many important pertains to during the coronavirus pandemic. ascent Xmedia/Getty images

The last point needed during this pandemic is federal government intervention the can delay or increase the prices of delivering crucial goods across the country.


Maintaining a safe and reliable food supply is just one of the many important concerns during the coronavirus pandemic. This contains making sure there’s enough food for Americans and that the food can obtain to American households.

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The Food and also Drug Administration explained that there are no nationwide food shortages in the joined States. This might seem prefer an weird statement as soon as there room so plenty of empty grocery store shelves. 

This is expected to change soon, however. Short-term inventory difficulties exist, but the food supply continues to be in great shape.

This doesn’t typical we don’t have actually challenges across the food it is provided chain. As the private sector it is adapted to meets the food demands of Americans throughout the pandemic, so as well should government at the federal, state, and also local levels. 

Here space three regulatory fixes that have to be made immediately to assist in this efforts.

1. Avoid Closing remainder Stops

Truck drivers need to be able to effectively and also efficiently transfer food. Recently though, truck drivers are having problems finding areas to park, use restroom facilities, and also get food and also drinks.

For example, last week, Pennsylvania closed all of its rest areas. The has reopened less than fifty percent of them. Because of some toilet record thefts at remainder stops, Nebraska closed them last week whenever one attendant wasn’t present, return parking was still available. Michigan has closed welcome centers indefinitely, but where possible, restrooms will certainly be available.

States must ensure the truck motorists can usage state-owned remainder areas, service plazas, and also welcome centers come park and also sleep in safe locations, use restroom facilities, and access food and also drinks.

States likewise should plainly communicate any kind of closure information to van drivers.

2. Process Visas for agricultural Guest Workers

In an answer to the coronavirus and COVID-19, the condition it causes, the United claims last Monday announced a suspension of program visa services in Mexico. American agricultural interests easy to understand were concerned since this advance will make it more difficult to secure guest workers with the H-2A temporary farming worker program. Numerous farmers depend on legal guest workers, specifically those coming from Mexico.

According to the west Growers Association, every U.S. Consulates in Mexico will continue handling applications for “returning” H-2A workers and will prioritize returning employees who space eligible because that an interview waiver.While helpful, this returning workers most likely will be insufficient to meet the demands of farmers. Agricultural guest worker visas have to be given high priority. 

To the degree feasible in irradiate of health and safety concerns, the U.S. Should procedure H-2A visa applications in a timely and efficient manner. The federal government should carry out the exact same with H-2B visa applications for short-term workers in agricultural-related industries, such together seafood.

3. Provide a Waiver that the Jones Act

The merchant Marine act of 1920, typically referred to as the Jones Act, is a protectionist measure that regulates domestic U.S. Shipping practices. The Jones plot mandates that any goods transport by water between two point out in the unified States should be transported ~ above a U.S.-built, U.S.-flagged vessel with a crew the is at the very least 75% percent American. 

Among many problems, the legislation drives up shipping costs. For example, according to a commonwealth Reserve bank of new York report, the costs of shipping a 20-foot container the household and commercial products from the East coast to Puerto Rico is about dual the expenses of shipping to adjacent islands not subject to the Jones Act.

The last point needed throughout this pandemic is federal government intervention that can delay or boost the prices of delivering an important goods across the country.

Waivers room not unusual, although they have actually been as well limited. The trumped administration approved a short-term waiver for refined petroleum assets after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and also a short-term waiver for all products shipped to Puerto Rico ~ Hurricane Maria. Given this unprecedented national emergency, the Trump administration should waive the Jones act for every shipping destinations and for every products, consisting of those regarded food and also agriculture. This waiver need to be indefinite in nature and also last v the expression of the pandemic.

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Across all levels the government, officials have to regularly evaluation regulatory obstacles that might hinder the food supply. This way thinking through concerns that could affect any aspect of the food it is provided chain, including state and also local obstacles the make it complicated to provide food directly to American households.So many people on the prior lines the the food it is provided chain space unsung heroes throughout this pandemic, amongst them ours nation’s van drivers. As they continue to execute their part to preserve a safe and reliable food supply, federal government should make it easier for lock to aid all the us obtain through this troubled time.