Supply chain issues lead Fox News to blame Biden for ruining Christmas
President Biden announced this week that the Port of Los Angeles will operate 24/7 on a request to address product shortages in the United States. The news came in conjunction with the release of Labor data Labor data showing that the ongoing supply chain crisis is getting worse consumer prices and inflation.
Conservatives are twisting these developments into a story about how this supply chain disaster ruined Christmas – and it was all Biden’s fault.
Despite what some people have said in right -wing outlets and social media news, the current problems in the global supply chain cannot be blamed on Biden alone. As his recent effort shows, the president is eager to help. In fact, these shortcomings and delays are the product of many cross-border problems that have existed over the years, including the Covid-19 pandemic, rising consumer demand, and a global and highly optimized manufacturing network that is not easily changed.
As easy as it is to blame just one person for America’s supply chain chains, the situation and its solutions are even more complicated for quick explanation. Let’s talk.
That’s why the supply chain is complicated. What does that mean?
The supply chain is how the world economy makes and delivers the things people buy. It covers all the people, companies, and countries that have a role in that process. Technicians at Taiwanese facilities that make computer chips part of the supply chain, as well as truck drivers who deliver products from warehouses to U.S. retailers.
The factories that make plastic used for packaging, freight ships moving products from Asia to the West Coast, even Amazon host of jets all considered part of this incredibly complex world manufacturing system that has dramatically collapsed over the past two years.
How is the supply chain messing up?
It is tempting to blame only the pandemic for the current supply chain disaster, but in some ways, the pandemic has exacerbated existing global trade problems and exposed some new ones.
What the pandemic did was cause factories were closed, often because there were not enough workers, and that created shortages of products and materials. Those shortcomings lead to bottlenecks and delays in making the product (if factories don’t have the parts to build something, they can’t and won’t ship).
Like many shortages that lead to many bottlenecks, disruption causes problems in other parts of the supply chain, creating even more shortages, new delays, and even higher prices. For example, carmakers can’t make cars and trucks, because they do can’t get their hands on it enough computer chips. Not ikea parts of ship furniture from its warehouses to its stores thanks to the lack of a trucker. A providing crunch for petrochemicals increased the cost of making anything with plastic, including children’s toys.
Who breaks the supply chain?
Again, no one is responsible for rising chain around the world. There are many long -term trends and common challenges that create the conditions that cause this crisis. U.S. companies have shifted more and more manufacturing overseas over the decades, which means a growing amount of goods that American consumers want to buy will have to be imported. Meanwhile, deteriorating conditions for truck drivers in the United States have made the job unpopular in recent years, even as demand for drivers increases as e-commerce becomes more popular. That means that while Americans are more reliant on shopping online during the pandemic, getting things from ports to doors isn’t difficult.
“It’s been 40 years,” Nick Vyas, director of the Global Supply Chain Institute at the University of Southern California, told Recode. “We’re allowing the supply chains to come out with unattended weapons, area fortifications, and other measures to make sure the person is never subjected to it.”
The pandemic has made the problems even worse, contributing to the breakdown of the supply chain we are witnessing today. While U.S. automakers have been importing semiconductor chips from abroad for decades, Covid-19 has forced companies to compete with the makers of the laptop and phone of the same components. As the pandemic pushes many trucker veterans to retire early, new drivers cannot get a license because trucking schools were closed during the lockdown.
Covid -19 also affects consumer demand – that is, what products they want to buy and how much – making constant changes that don’t keep up with the supply chain, especially of late.
It seems like we have plenty of time to fix these problems. Why would they suddenly ruin Christmas?
The manufacturing world has been operating at full capacity for more than a year. But when there are no delays in addressing labor shortages, bottlenecks, and delays, problems just accumulate. These issues have already reached a critical mass. Even as American consumers start ordering more and more items, there is no improvement in the supply chain to meet that demand.
“Delta has adapted our behavior to tell all of us,‘ Hey, this can take a long time, ’” Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, a senior resident for climate and energy think tank Third Way, said. “So we just went out and shopped like crazy.”
it note on the count of imports slows down product delivery. Freight ships carrying holiday goods are waiting to move their stock off the coast of California, but there aren’t enough port workers to do the job. Those delays mean there are fewer pitfalls available for manufacturers trying to ship more products to the U.S., which further limits the supply chain.
We can agree that this is everyone’s problem. But what did Biden actually do to fix it?
Pushing the Port of Los Angeles to operate 24/7 is Biden’s most direct action to date, and it’s to ensure that an additional 3,500 cargo ships are unloaded each week. The port of Los Angeles and the port of Long Beach, which boosted its operations last month, is responsible for 40 percent of containers shipped to the U.S., thus expanding their operations ostensibly to facilitate nationwide shipping. the White House says.
The move will help reduce the number of ships waiting at the port, but it will only affect the later stages of supply chain problems: shipping and delivery. Just now, it’s unclear what Biden can do to fix bottlenecks that occur higher up in the supply chain, such as manufacturers running components and factories closing overseas. While the White House is calling on forces to work to address the underlying problems, those efforts may not bear fruit in time for vacation.
“It’s more a state of demand and supply, more of a state of government,” Patrick Penfield, a professor of supply chain management at the University of Syracuse, said. “The government has a role in regulating and enforcing laws, creating laws, and trying to encourage development. But other than that, they have no power as to how commerce operates.”
If Biden can’t fix it, who can?
No one can handle supply chain challenges before the holidays because they are complicated. Factories don’t immediately increase their manufacturing capacity, and many people don’t suddenly receive trucking licenses just because U.S. consumers want to buy a lot of things. Severe weather events in Texas, usa energy crisis in China, and a fire in a chip factory in Japan has created new barriers as well.
In the long run, it is possible that the U.S. government may change the policies that contributed to this situation in the first place. Politicians can shift their way of doing business, which has historically encouraged U.S. companies to manufacture products abroad. Improving working standards could improve working conditions for truckers and factory workers to make jobs more attractive – increase the world’s vaccine production and ensure that workers in other industries. country safer from Covid-19 outbreaks. Acquiring too many people in the U.S. could leave delivery and port workers understaffed.
The government may also consider change the Defense Production Act, a Cold War -era law that gave the president specific power to make a home during the crisis. For example, the U.S. Commerce Department is evaluating how to use that law to address US supply of semiconductor chips.
But these ideas are a reminder that U.S. supply chain policy does not exist in a vacuum. It’s an amalgam of everything different with a wider range of policy options that are less easily changed.
When will it all end?
According to some experts it could be months before these chain problems solve themselves. Some consider these disturbances to represent a new normal that could last for many years. Regardless, there is no reason to think that these issues will be fixed during the holidays. In fact, the White House has already said there is no guarantee that packages will arrive on time.
So should we blame Joe Biden for ruining Christmas?