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U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg acknowledged Sunday that the nation’s supply chain problems will last into next year.
“Certainly, many of the challenges we’ve 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,” Buttigieg said during an interview with CNN.
Since restrictions on mobility and economic activity began to be relaxed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in much of the world, demand for goods and services has experienced a sudden growth that manufacturers and shippers have not been able to keep up with, creating a bottleneck.
One of the best examples of this situation is the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the two largest in the country, which are experiencing a situation of collapse, with long lines of huge cargo ships anchoring in front of the docks waiting to dock and unload their goods, a task that can take up to twelve days.
Buttigieg stressed that part of what is happening has to do not only with supplies, but with demand, which is “skyrocketing.”
This week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgraded this year’s global growth forecast to 5.9%, a tenth of a percent lower than three months ago, due to the restrictive measures implemented because of the pandemic and partly because of problems in global supply chains.
The Fund also lowered by one percentage point the estimated growth for this year in the United States, which will be 6%, as a result of “a moderation in consumption in the third quarter of the year and disruptions in the supply chain.”
Last Wednesday, Biden assured that he hopes to fix the current congestion in the national supply chain by keeping the country’s most important ports open at all hours, from Monday to Sunday.