Saturday, October 23, 2021

Biden tries to tame inflation by having LA port open 24/7

WASHINGTON (NWN) – President Joe Biden on Wednesday tried to reassure Americans that he could contain high inflation., announcing a deal to expand operations at the Port of Los Angeles as prices continue to rise and container ships await docking in a traffic jam that threatens the U.S. economy and holiday shopping.

Prices are rising in large part as container ships are stuck in ports and unloaded goods are waiting for trucks, leading to massive shortages and delays that have triggered a longer-than-expected bout of inflation. Rising spending is eating up workers’ wages, stalling growth, and drawing Republican criticism of Biden as his multimillion-dollar tax, economic, climate, and infrastructure agenda goes through the crucible of congressional negotiations.

The White House responded to the backlog by negotiating an agreement that the Port of Los Angeles would operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is hoped that overnight operations will help overcome congestion and reduce delays in the delivery of toasters, sneakers, bicycles, cars and more.

“As the holidays approach, you may be wondering if the gifts you plan to buy will be delivered on time,” Biden said at the White House. “Today we have good news: we’re going to help expedite shipping across America.”

But the expansion of port operations has also come as a tacit admission that inflation remains at a higher level long after the economy began to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Companies worried about multi-month container delivery delays. In June, the administration formed its supply chain task force only that month and appointed a port representative on August 27 to address the issue.

Ports are another piece of the puzzle, Biden said. The country needs more truck drivers, private retailers to develop and improve infrastructure, and a supply chain that is harder to disrupt pandemics and extreme weather. The President is trying to use the predicament as an argument in favor of his political plans, which are under the scrutiny of Congress.

“We need to look ahead and invest in resilience to withstand the kinds of shocks we see over and over year after year, pandemic risk, extreme weather, climate change, cyberattacks, weather disruptions, and more,” he said. …

A sense of insecurity is beginning to consume the attention of many Americans.

University of Michigan economist Betsy Stevenson tweeted that “the economy is in a very fragile and unprecedented position.” Prices are rising more than 5%, trade in goods and services has slowed, and more Americans are quitting their jobs, while the delta option has raised the risk of a coronavirus pandemic.

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“Nobody really knows what’s going to happen,” wrote Stevenson, a former member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama.

Ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California account for 40% of all shipping containers arriving in the United States. As of Tuesday, 64 ships were stationed at the two ports, with 80 awaiting docking and unloading, according to the Southern California Maritime Exchange.

Commitments from the Los Angeles port operator, movers and several of the nation’s largest retail and shipping companies are expected to help close the gap.

Walmart, FedEx, UPS, Target, Samsung and The Home Depot have committed to off-peak unloading, making the Port of Los Angeles easier to run smoothly. Long Beach Port has been operating 24 hours a day for seven days approximately for the past three weeks.

Prior to his keynote address, Biden also hosted a virtual roundtable with the heads of Walmart, FedEx Logistics, UPS, Target, Samsung Electronics North America, the Drivers Union, and the US Chamber of Commerce, among other groups.

Republican Lawmakers Says Biden Provides $ 1.9 Trillion Coronavirus Aid caused a rise in prices. According to a recent analysis by investment bank Goldman Sachs, “limited supply” accounts for 80% of the excess inflation this year, but political criticism continues as house and oil prices add to inflationary pressures.

Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky cited inflation as one of Biden’s top accusations, suggesting that gaining price controls could be important for Democrats trying to hold onto congressional seats next year.

“Democratic inflation is so high that even though the average American worker has received a few percentage point wage increases over the past year, their actual purchasing power has declined,” McConnell said in his Senate address last week. “Even dollar stores are being forced to raise prices. Just ask any American family about their recent trips to the supermarket, gas station, or toy store. God forbid, if they recently had to participate in the housing market or the car market. “

The Biden administration has argued that higher inflation is temporary. However, supply chain problems persist months after the economy began to reopen and recover as vaccines have reduced many of the risks associated with the pandemic.

Consumer prices rose 5.4% from last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Wednesday. This is well above the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%. Higher energy, food and housing costs were the main drivers behind September’s price increases.

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