Sen. Carper Cosponsors Bill to Improve Agricultural Inspections at Nation’s Ports

Port of Wilmington, nation's top terminal for imports of fresh fruit, would benefit from new resources

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) announced his cosponsorship of the Safeguarding American Agriculture Act (S. 1673), a bill to improve agricultural inspections at our nation’s ports, such as the Port of Wilmington. The bill was introduced by Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in October 2011 and would require the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection to take a number of steps to better recruit, train and equip the agricultural specialists that inspect our nation’s imported foods. The Port of Wilmington is the nation’s number one terminal for imports of fresh fruit and relies on these agricultural specialists to process imports of agricultural products.

“Improving our nation’s ability to inspect and secure imported food, like the over 1.5 million tons of fresh fruit that enters our country through the Port of Wilmington each year, is vital to protecting America’s food supply and putting safe food on our dinner tables,” said Sen. Carper. “This legislation will strengthen the agricultural inspection mission at Customs and Border Protection and make sure its dedicated men and women on the front lines have the tools and training they need to better safeguard imports entering the U.S. marketplace. I’m proud to support this effort because it will not only help ensure the safety of agricultural products entering the country, but it will also help improve our economy by helping facilitate commerce at our nation’s ports, like the Port of Wilmington. This bill is a true win-win for our nation and for the state of Delaware.”