The Biden administration is attempting to shift the blame for the nation’s current supply chain crisis at the feet of the Trump administration as the nation faces a series of problems with shipping.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain tweeted about the issue and seemed to attribute it to the previous administration.
“Like many other problems we have inherited, we are tackling the supply chain mess,” Mr Klain said while tweeting an article about the matter.
A White House fact sheet also stressed the fact that the United States is not the only nation struggling with supply chain issues, noting how two ports in China faced partial closures and Vietnam faced the consequences of lockdowns.
Transport secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNN’s New Day: “We are relying on supply chains that were built generations ago. It’s one of the reasons why this entire year we have been talking about and working on infrastructure and are eager to see Congress to act to get this infrastructure deal through.
“This is a largely private sector system, and a global one at that, but there are a lot of steps that we can take as an administration, as an honest broker,” he added.
“That’s what the President has directed us to do and that’s part of why we’re gathering right here at the White House with leaders from the ports of LA and Long Beach, labour leaders and the private sector companies that, you know, the Fedexs, UPSs, Walmarts, others who play that role on everything that happens between when something arrives on a ship and when it gets to the shelves so you can get it to your home.”
Former president Donald Trump criticised the former president on Wednesday.
“Covid is raging out of control, our supply chains are crashing with little product in our stores, we were humiliated in Afghanistan, our Border is a complete disaster, gas prices and inflation are zooming upward—how’s Biden doing,” Mr Trump said in a statement. “Do you miss me yet?”
Mr Trump’s words come as Mr Biden’s polling on the economy sags. An Associated Press-NORC survey from earlier this month showed that voters’ approval of Mr Biden’s handling of the economy is down from 60 percent in March to 47 percent in October.
The White House said in a fact sheet that President Joe Biden will meet with leaders from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union to announce a plan to operate the ports 24 hours a day for seven days a week.
Similarly, the president will announce some of the nation’s largest companies will assist, with Walmart pledging to increase its nighttime hours significantly, UPS committing to increasing its use of 24/7 operations and data sharing with ports, FedEx increasing its use of nighttime hours and using trucking and rail use. Other companies like Home Depot, Samsung and Target have made similar pledges.
“Across these six companies over 3,500 additional containers per week will move at night through the end of the year,” the White House said in a statement.
The announcement comes as multiple news reports have shown ships stuck at sea and a lack of truck drivers. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg warned that some problems with the supply chain could last “years and years” in an interview with Bloomberg.
At the same time, the International Monetary Fund downgraded its projected growth for the United States by 0.1 percent and specifically cited supply disruptions.
“On the other hand, these supply shortages, alongside the release of pent-up demand and the rebound in commodity prices, have caused consumer price inflation to increase rapidly in, for example, the United States, Germany, and many emerging market and developing economies,” it said in its World Economic Outlook report.
The concerns come especially as Americans prepare to begin shopping for the holiday season.
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