Shortages in the global supply chain are creating steep challenges for President Biden at a time when he’s already grappling with low approval ratings and major hurdles to getting his economic agenda through Congress.
The White House sought to demonstrate that administration officials are tackling the supply chain disruptions head on with Wednesday’s announcement that the Port of Los Angeles, as well as FedEx, UPS and Walmart, will rev up operations to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Biden also delivered a speech detailing the efforts.
The supply chain bottlenecks — such as chip shortages and a resulting lack of new cars on the market — are largely due to the enduring stress on the global economy sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic more than 18 months ago. They now threaten to disrupt the holiday shopping season.
“Certainly this is a danger point for the administration. Whatever the cause of the bottlenecks, the public has not been overly patient with these kinds of problems in the past,” said Austan Goolsbee, economics professor at the Chicago Booth School of Business who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) under former President Obama.
Goolsbee said Biden’s moves to expand port capacity are “important and correct” but will only ease the problem, not fix it.