President Biden is set to announce Wednesday the federal government has brokered a deal to turn the Port of Los Angeles into a 24/7 operation, as part of a larger effort to relieve supply chain bottlenecks that are increasing product prices for U.S. consumers.
Biden will discuss the initiative in a national address. The supply chain issue, which has been driving up the prices of everyday consumer goods, is not only broadly linked to the inflation problem that the Biden administration has yet to confront, but is now an issue that officials are warning will likely bleed into the holiday season.
The Southern California ports accounts for 40% of the shipping containers entering the United States. Of early this week, there were reportedly as many as 60 ships docked at the ports and 81 vessels waiting to dock and unload.
Companies like Walmart, FedEx, and UPS have committed to unloading their container ships during off-peak hours in order to ease the transition into a 24-hour operation. The president is reportedly scheduled to hold a virtual roundtable discussion with the leaders of Walmart, FedEx logistics, UPS, Target, Samsung Electronics, the Teamsters Union, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others, prior to his speech today.
Increasing inflation rates and now supply chain problems have become a political rallying cry for Republicans, and have created headwinds for Washington Democrats as they try to pass two trillion-dollar spending bills and ahead of the 2022 elections. l
“Even dollar stores are having to raise their prices,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Wednesday’s consumer price report is expected to show a multi-percentage point climb in prices since this time last year, despite the Biden administration’s persistent argument that higher inflation is temporary.