Fifteen Republican governors pledged to alleviate the supply chain crisis amid counterproductive policies from President Biden.
Supply chain bottlenecks are decreasing the availability of inputs for American businesses and the availability of final goods for American consumers. Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg argues that the crisis is due to Biden “successfully” handling the economy.
However, the governors argue in a letter to President Biden — exclusively shared with Fox News on Monday — that the administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and other regulations are worsening the crisis.
“With 7.4 million people unemployed and 10.4 million job openings, we have a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers, an all-time high for the trucking industry,” the letter says. “With more paychecks at risk, American families are forced to pay more for food, gas, and everyday goods as inflation surges to a 30-year high under President Biden’s watch.”
The governors therefore “commit to using our authority where allowable to modify weight, size, or load restrictions to allow more cargo to move more efficiently; adjust hours of service constraints to provide truck drivers more time and flexibility; deregulate education and occupational licensure barriers to get more commercial truck drivers on the road.”
They likewise promised to “convene state agencies in transportation, commerce, workforce, and other related fields to coordinate with private industry, local governments, and neighboring states where appropriate to ensure greater efficiency, connectivity, and data sharing among shippers and receivers at ports, distribution points, storage facilities, and other intrastate corridors for the expedited loading, unloading, and transport of freight.”
Governors leading states with coastal ports committed “to support our ports to operate at full capacity, increase tonnage capacity, and accept more Panamax ships waiting off the west coast.”
Led by Gov. Bill Lee (R-TN), the other signers were Gov. Ron DeSantis (FL), Gov. Greg Abbott (TX), Gov. Mike DeWine (OH), Gov. Doug Ducey (AZ), Gov. Greg Gianforte (MT), Gov. Larry Hogan (MD), Gov. Brian Kemp (GA), Gov. Brad Little (ID), Gov. Henry McMaster (SC), Gov. Mike Parson (MO), Gov. Kim Reynolds (IA), Gov. Pete Ricketts (NE), Gov. Kevin Stitt (OK), and Gov. Doug Burgum (ND).
Investors worry that the supply chain crisis will last into 2023.
“Some of these companies actually will not be able to ship units. And if they can’t ship units, they might disappoint on their earnings,” investor and finance professor Paul Meeks told CNBC. “Their stocks are so expensive that they could go down. Not go down a bit, they could go down a lot.”
“It’s a bummer and unfortunately, there’s not any relief,” he continued. “It’ll also hit the top and bottom lines of some of these vendors that are selling those hot Christmas products.”
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development likewise said that high consumer demand and supply-side constraints — such as “container ship carrying capacity, container shortages, labour shortages, continued on and off COVID-19 restrictions across port regions and congestion at ports” — could lead to price hikes through 2023.
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