President Biden is still struggling to fix the challenge of America’s clogged sea ports, as people face major shortages leading up to the Christmas season.
The president has known about the problems for a while, promising back in August to watch the situation and give solutions.
“My team is bringing together the operators of these ports, shipping lines, the labor unions, transportation companies and railroads to speed up operations,” Joe Biden said on Aug. 11.
He promised Americans “these price increases and bottlenecks will go down as our economy continues to get over covid” and promised to watch the situation.
Biden made John Porcari the “Port Envoy” for his administration on Aug 21, joining Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg to attempt to solve the shipping issues.
But two months after, port delays are continuing.
There are 146 ships off the coast of California waiting to be unloaded, as reported by several news outlets over the weekend.
During his interview with MSNBC this past Thursday, Buttigieg could not give any reassurance that the Biden White House was getting progress as the issue continued to get worse.
“Obviously it is an incredibly difficult situation,” Buttigieg said, saying that the government was dealing with the problem by having a video conference of private companies, port organizers, and labor leaders to discuss the issues.
He said his team was getting short term gains, but also warned people that it was a long term issue.
“Some of these problems were years in the making,” he said.
Buttigieg cited issues about the number of truck drivers, and said he was talking to the Dept. of Labor to get more apprenticeships.
“We are going to see a lot of challenges,” he said. “Not only going into the next year, but long term.”
White House media secretary Jen Psaki also had a hard time showing any progress on the topic during the daily briefing this past Friday.
“The President sees there are several layers of the issue here that lead to the bottleneck,” she said.
Psaki said that Biden’s creation of a port “envoy” was proof the White House was dealing with the crisis.
“The fact that he appointed a person at that level with a vast range of experience shows this is an issue we’re absolutely working on,” she said.
Author: Scott Dowdy