U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today questioned several Biden nominees about the unprecedented supply chain crisis in the United States. Thune emphasized that these massive backlogs at American ports are hurting farmers and ranchers in South Dakota and negatively affecting commodity prices.
Thune’s opening remarks below:
“We are facing this unprecedented supply chain crisis, and we’ve got a lot of Americans who are encountering already empty store shelves, long wait times, rising costs, and we’ve got the holiday season approaching.
“In my state, agricultural producers are also feeling the crunch, with capacity for their goods being hampered by a combination of surging demand for containerized shipping and a massive backlog at our nation’s ports – particularly LA-Long Beach. This inefficiency has downstream effects on commodity prices, hurting farmers and ranchers across the country, including in South Dakota.
“In addition to investments in capacity, our nation’s ports are desperately in need of two things: one is modernization and the other one is transparency. The fact that a move to 24/7 operations at LA-Long Beach – which is a standard practice in much of the rest of the world – merits a presidential announcement is baffling, especially with dozens of ships anchored off the coast waiting to be unloaded. A failure to invest in terminal automation and port efficiency initiatives – such as data sharing – compounds the problems we are facing today and puts the United States below the global average in vessel wait times. A resolution to this crisis is imperative.”