Supply chain crisis could last until next year, warns Pete Buttigieg

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Sunday that it was likely the United States would see some supply chain issues linger until 2021 and 2022.

Speaking on CNN State of the Union, the secretary claimed that the Biden administration was working to alleviate supply chain problems presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, but stressed that some are likely to last.

“[A] many of the challenges we have faced this year will continue into next year, ”said Buttigieg, before adding:“ It’s on the demand side. Demand is off the charts. Retail sales are exploding. “

“Demand is up because incomes are up,” he continued, linking increased demand to a recovery from job losses in 2020. “Because the president managed to get out. this economy of the teeth of a terrifying recession. “

His remarks come just days after President Joe Biden gave a nationwide address regarding the issues facing the U.S. supply chain and was faced with questions from reporters over whether vacation packages would come to fruition. time.

While Mr. Buttigieg’s statements regarding the increase in demand are correct, not all problems can be described as stemming from this problem. Much of the problem facing port supervisors and businesses up and down the supply chain is a result of labor shortages that have persisted over the past year and have not yet sparked off. that few responses from the White House.

Mr Biden, in his speech this week, announced that the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California would switch to 24/7 operations, but the administration has yet to take action to get more workers in the different industries responsible for getting goods from manufacturers or farms to shopping carts from Americans.

Some industries, including retail and restaurant, raised starting wages in some areas in an attempt to encourage greater hiring, but many trucking companies and other transportation-related industries were facing shortages. of workers even before the start of the pandemic.

“We need the rest of the private sector chain to step up as well,” Biden said during his remarks. “It’s not called a supply chain for nothing. It also means terminal operators, railways, trucking companies, shippers and other retailers. Stretching our supply chain will continue to be my team’s goal. “

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