The Task Force was established in June to address supply and demand mismatches that emerged in several sectors as the economy reawakened following the vaccination and economic relief efforts. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg leads the Task Force focus on ports and trucking issues. The Task Force’s leadership also includes Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on food and agriculture and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on homebuilding and semiconductors.
“The strength of the U.S. economic recovery has tested the near-term capacity of our supply chains, and the administration is operating on all fronts to ease bottlenecks and facilitate the flow of goods across the country,” said National Economic Council Director Brian Deese. “Our country’s ports are the gateways for getting goods to market, which makes the appointment of John Porcari as Ports Envoy an especially important step forward in alleviating these disruptions that are impacting consumers, workers, and businesses alike.”
The National Retail Federation Senior Vice President of Government Relations David French says, “Retailers have faced a number of unprecedented challenges during the pandemic, and the supply chain disruptions that continue to evolve pose a threat to many American businesses. As consumer demand increases, the supply chain challenges and the costs associated with them remain significant.
He adds, “Imports at retail container ports have marked record highs recently as consumer demand continues to stretch supply chains and retailers shift to the peak shipping season for winter holiday merchandise. The bottlenecks and congestion we are seeing at our ports highlight the need for an improved and sophisticated supply chain that can handle these issues.
French says, NRF is encouraged by the Biden administration’s action on this critical issue. ”We look forward to working with Envoy Porcari, Secretary Buttigieg and the full Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to mitigate these challenges, particularly in advance of the upcoming holiday season, so that retailers can ensure consumers can access the products they want and need in a timely manner.”
In June, NRF submitted a letter to President Biden outlining the numerous supply chain challenges retailers have faced throughout the pandemic and potential solutions to address current and future disruptions.