Biden discusses supply chain issues with retailers and shippers at virtual summit
WASHINGTON – President Biden on Wednesday met with shipping companies, some of the nation’s largest retailers and leaders of portworker unions at a virtual summit to discuss the issues currently plaguing the supply chain.
These problems are largely the result of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, severe labor shortages and extreme spikes in consumer demand. They highlighted the need to create a more reliable supply chain, both nationally and internationally.
Ahead of the meeting, Biden vowed the government would help overhaul the congested system. He also called on the private sector to step up its efforts.
“If federal support is needed, I will lead all appropriate actions, and if the private sector does not step up, we will call them up and ask them to act,” he told the White House.
Maybe it works. Several of the biggest retailers and carriers – Walmart, Target, FedEx and UPS – have said they will expand their nighttime port operations. The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach have also committed to expanding their 24/7 operations.
National Council of Textile Organizations President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement following the summit, calling for further relocation.
âWe appreciate President Biden’s call to ensure that we are building more resilient and reliable supply chains and to invest in our manufacturing industries here at home, in his speech,â she said.
âThere’s a reason we got into this mess and there’s a reason we have a global supply chain crisis. Years of offshoring production in a race to the bottom – exacerbated by predatory business practices that have plagued so many manufacturing industries – have led to a tipping point.
âNow is the time for us to unlock long-term commitments to source our products from the United States and from our hemispheric partners. If we were to transfer another 10% of global production to the United States and the hemisphere, imagine the benefits that could be achieved. Ensuring verticalization and increased investment in all aspects of the industry, from raw materials to finished products, is good for the US economy and workers in the US and the region.
National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said the NRF has for many years called for more focus and resources to address supply chain failures.
“The retail industry greatly appreciates President Biden’s personal commitment to mobilizing the power of the federal government to support efforts to reduce the disruption our members currently face, and retailers remain committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure consumers have access to the products and services they want and expect, âShay said after the meeting.
Some believe the initiative may not be over, as trucks, trucks and warehouses will also have to expand their operations.