The White House announced Wednesday that it helped broker an agreement for Port of Los Angeles’s 24-hour, seven day-a-week operation. This is part of an effort by the White House to alleviate supply chain bottlenecks, and move stranded containers ships, which are pushing prices higher for U.S. customers.
The agreement was to be discussed by President Joe Biden during Wednesday’s speech about supply chain problems that have hindered the economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic. The supply chain problem is closely linked to the larger challenge of inflation facing Biden.
According to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, 40% of all US shipping containers enter the United States through Los Angeles or Long Beach ports.
The backlog will be reduced by longshoremen, the Los Angeles port operator, and many of the largest shipping and retail companies in the country. Walmart, FedEx, and UPS have made commitments not to load during peak hours. This will make it possible for the LA port reduce its backlog and allow it to continue operating nonstop. For the past three weeks, Long Beach’s port has been open for approximately 24 hours a day for seven days.
The Democratic president was to host a virtual roundtable, along with representatives from Walmart, FedEx Logistics and Target, Samsung Electronics North America and the Teamsters Union, before his speech.
Republican lawmakers have repeatedly criticized Biden’s $1.9 billion coronavirus relief program for fueling higher prices. According to Goldman Sachs, supply-constrained goods account for 80% this year’s inflation increase. However, the political criticisms continue to hurt as rising oil and housing prices contribute to the inflationary pressures.
Senator Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made inflation one his main criticisms of Biden. This is a sign that Democrats could need to get prices under control if they want to retain their congressional seats next year.
“The Democrats’ inflation is so bad that even though the average American worker has gotten a multiple-percentage-point pay raise over the last year, their actual purchasing power has been cut,” McConnell said in a Senate floor speech last week. Even dollar stores are being forced to increase their prices. Ask any American family about their recent trips to the grocery store, gas station, or toy shop. It is a terrible thing if they have had to take part in the housing or auto markets at any time recently.
Biden’s administration has claimed that higher inflation is temporary. The supply chain problems have remained months after the economy reopened and recovered after vaccinations reduced many of the risk from the pandemic.
Economists believe Wednesday’s consumer price report will reveal that prices rose 5.3% compared to a year ago. This is significantly higher than the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%. Raphael Bostic, president of Atlanta Fed, stated in Tuesday’s speech that inflation is no longer “transitory”. He believes this current “episode”, which has been characterized as an increase in inflation, could continue into 2022 and beyond.