Biden admin touting supply chain ‘improvements’ ripped as ‘wishful thinking’: Trade expert
White House Press Secretary dodges FOX Business’ question on when consumers will see supply chain relief
After the Biden administration provided a non-answer to when consumers will feel relief from supply chain pressures and, instead, praised "some improvements" during a White House press conference, Monday, one international trade expert ripped the response on "Mornings with Maria."
"I think it's wishful and hopeful thinking," Alba Wheels Up International President Salvatore Stile told FOX Business’ Dagen McDowell. "I don't see this alleviating until at least the first quarter of 2023. There's still fragile supply chain issues."
On Monday, FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre why supply chains have yet to work themselves out following the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed in November.
"We're funding major new initiatives on the docks and on dock rail systems, the Port of Long Beach, too, to move goods more quickly," Jean-Pierre replied. "So we have seen the investments are out there and we have seen some improvements."
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Stile noted that, while the California ports might have reduced vessel numbers and offloading times, the crisis has moved east.
"That has shifted to New York," the trade expert said. "Now we have about, in New York, a 10-day lag time. So you're seeing a shift from one port to the other."
The Alba Wheels Up president also warned the U.S. is about to see "peak season" for further shipping disruptions with the influx of back-to-school and holiday product imports.
"I call it the ‘Port of Black Swans’ in China, where you never know one more issue that's going to raise its head and create another disruption," Stile said. "So I don't believe that 2022 will see supply chain suppression."
Adding to supply chain stress are record-high oil and diesel prices, according to Stile, who explained how expensive fuel contributes to soaring consumer prices and overall inflation.
"Not only does it affect the airlines, vessels and trucking carriers, but it also impacts the products themselves that require petroleum and other energy to make the products," Stile pointed out. "So my take on it is that the consumer ultimately will have to pick up some of those increases."
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Stile signaled many companies are close to their breaking point after absorbing price hikes.
"They can't continue to do that. So either they're going to make their own companies more fragile financially, or they're going to have to pass it on," Stile admitted. "It's really a no-win situation."