UPDATED 1:27 PM PT – Sunday, October 17, 2021
As concerns over supply chain issues at America’s ports continue to grow as the holiday season closes in, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says troubles are likely to continue into 2022.
“Certainly, a lot of challenges that we have been experiencing this year will continue into next year. But there are both short-term and long-term steps that we can take to do something about it,” he said.
During an interview with CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Buttigieg attempted to put a good spin on the supply chain issues causing prices to skyrocket, calling it beneficial. Amid concerns of the upcoming holidays, Buttigieg credited the sight of empty shelves as a sign Joe Biden has “successfully guided our economy out of the teeth of a terrifying recession.”
He said the U.S.’ supply chain can’t keep up, taking the opportunity to further push Democrat’s multi-trillion dollar infrastructure and reconciliation bills.
We are relying on supply chains that were built generations ago. That’s why we’re working to invest in efficient port infrastructure for the future—while moving forward with immediate steps like expanding hours at our biggest ports. pic.twitter.com/ZqKyXIRPzw
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) October 13, 2021
“Now the issue is even though our ports are handling more than they ever have, there are record amounts of goods coming, our supply chains can’t keep up. Of course, our supply chains, that’s a complicated system that is mostly in private hands and rightly so,” said Buttigieg. “Our role is to be an honest broker, bring together all of the players, secure commitments and get solutions that will make it easier.”
Buttigieg was placed on paternity leave after adopting a child in mid-August and has since been absent from his post amid the crisis, causing heavy backlash from Republicans. Meanwhile, Republicans have continued to show their frustration over the crisis, emphasizing the Biden administration should be looking for solutions instead of encouraging others to purchase Christmas gifts extra early this year.