However, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has insisted the backlog of goods and increased prices are positive signs. By his logic, the supply chain crisis we are facing is due to the simple fact that “demand is up, because income is up, because the President has successfully guided this economy out of the teeth of a terrifying recession.” Unfortunately, this lack of concern is not unique in the President’s Cabinet. Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, condensed this very real crisis down to a “tragedy of the treadmill that’s delayed.” These comments demonstrate a complete disregard for not only the impact this unprecedented backlog of goods at our ports, but also for our farmers that already had to contend with a historic drought this year.
Earlier this year, I was hearing from constituents in the agriculture industry that had no way to export their crops due to foreign shipping companies opting to return to Asia without American goods. Chinese shipping companies decided to violate trade laws by solely exporting to the U.S., and to date, the Biden administration has yet to call them out for the havoc they are wrecking on California farmers, and the supply chain generally. To date, three in four containers from the U.S. are going back empty, according to Redwood Logistics CEO Mark Yeager, and in October, during peak harvest season, 80% of scheduled shipments were canceled.
Californian exports accounted for more than 10% of all U.S. exports in 2020, and when it comes to agriculture, California accounted for 16% of all U.S. exports in 2019. The standstill is severely damaging America’s farmers. Strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, almonds, and many other California products are perishing as they wait to be loaded. American truck drivers are being punished for these delays, even though ports are operating slowly and foreign ships are leaving before their cargo is loaded. The situation is out of our truckers’ control, but they are forced to pay the bill.
The Biden Administration and Governor Gavin Newsom finally agreed last month to move ports to 24/7 operations, but this will take nearly two years to work – by which time most U.S. producers and truck drivers will be out of business, and foreign countries will have found new markets to replace America.
In the meantime, Americans are on track to having the most expensive holiday season in history. According to the American Farm Bureau, the cost of turkey will jump by nearly a third – from $1.21 per pound to $1.60 per pound. The rapid onset of inflation is already affecting the cost of bacon (which has gone up 19.30%), pork (12.70%), meat and eggs (12.60%), and chicken (8.1%). Even though prices were at an all-time low last year, this Thanksgiving is expected to set a series of new record highs. Pent up demand from COVID shutdowns, combined with overspending by President Biden and Congressional Democrats, and a lack of attention to our supply chains has boosted inflation into dangerous levels. I hope everyone banked that $0.16 the Biden Administration bragged about saving on July 4th festivities, because everything from fuel to food will cost a lot more this holiday season, if you can find it.
Member of Congress