July 16, 2024

Supply Chain Disruptions May Mean Crisis for U.S. Farms

“It is a challenge,” Mr. Clayton said. “We’re all fighting and competing for those people who will sit behind the steering wheel.”

The infrastructure bill that Congress passed on Nov. 5 aims to remedy supply chain backlogs by investing $17 billion in American ports, many of which rank among the least efficient in the world.

The bill also includes funding to improve railways, roads and waterways, as well as a provision to fund pop-up container yards outside the Port of Savannah, in Georgia, to ease congestion. It will also lower the minimum age of truckers who can cross state lines to 18, in a bid to attract more workers to a profession that has become a key bottleneck in supply chains.

In September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture also announced it would dispense $500 million to help farmers deal with transportation challenges and rising materials costs.

John D. Porcari, the Biden administration’s port envoy, said farm exports are a “primary focus” for the administration, and that the White House was trying to encourage private sector companies, including ocean carriers, to get the supply chain moving.

The White House held a round table with agricultural exporters on Friday, and Mr. Porcari plans to visit the Port of Oakland, in California, one of the biggest export points for agriculture, this week.

“We know that some sectors have had more trouble than others, and we’re working to eliminate those bottlenecks,” Mr. Porcari said in an interview.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/14/business/economy/farm-exports-supply-chain-ports.html

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