In the face of increasing supply-chain disruptions, President Joe Biden told reporters on Nov. 6 that the “backed-up” supply chain is a result of companies “clos[ing] those plants because they have COVID.”
“People are worried,” Biden said, with many questioning why the “price of agricultural products” has gone up.
He gave the example of going out for lunch and asking “whoever’s in the next table” to “explain the supply chain to us.”
“Do you think they’d understand what we’re talking about?” he asked, suggesting that despite being “smart people,” the reasons behind the backlog of goods is “confusing and so people are understandably worried.”
Biden told reporters that he has yet to see any reporter “explain supply chain very well,” and that he’ll attempt to “explain to the American people” the supply issues faced by the country.
At the Global Supply Chain Resilience summit in late October, Biden came to an agreement with the EU and 14 other countries to “foster greater international cooperation on near-term supply-chain disruptions.”
The leaders plan to “strengthen and diversify the entire supply chain ecosystem over the long term—from raw materials, intermediate and finished goods, manufacturing, to shipping, logistics, warehousing, and distribution,” according to an Oct. 31 statement.
“During this pandemic, we’ve seen delays and backlogs of goods from automobiles to electronics, from shoes to furniture,” Biden said at the annual summit.
To combat these issues, the Biden administration unveiled a plan on Oct. 13 to launch a 24/7 operation at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, where 40 percent of containers reportedly enter the country.
In addition, Walmart, UPS, FedEx, Samsung, and Target are also expanding operating hours to help meet consumer demand.
While Biden claimed that the root cause of supply-chain backlogs was due to workers being “sick,” some companies indicated that vaccine mandates could further exacerbate the issue.
Truck Center manager Patrick Benford told The Epoch Times last week that if the truck transport industry was to lose 30 or 40 percent of drivers because they refuse to take the vaccine, “then we go into panic mode.”
On Nov. 3, an open letter signed by nearly 100 groups—including the Agriculture Transportation Coalition and American Trucking Associations—urged the Biden administration to fix the supply chain crisis gripping the economy and pushing inflation to a high not seen in decades.
“We estimate companies covered by the mandate could lose 37% of drivers at a time when the nation is already short 80,000 truck drivers. We ask for flexibility for transportation and supply chain essential workers, particularly truck drivers who spend most of their time in their trucks and have minimal contact with colleagues and customers,” the groups wrote.