EXCLUSIVE: The national trade organization that represents the industry whose products Americans consume each day is spotlighting that the supply chain crisis that has impacted the nation's economy and created havoc with holiday shopping won’t disappear with the start of the new year and will "be on the ballot in 2022."
The Consumer Brand Association — an organization that represents leading food and beverage, household and personal care companies such as Procter and Gamble, General Mills, Hostess, Campbell Soup, ConAgra, Coca-Cola, Kellogg's and Clorox — emphasizes that "the country is at an inflection point where the supply chain’s vulnerabilities are exposed and it is time to act on the lessons we have learned."
The group, in a report and a public opinion survey conducted in key battleground states that were shared first with Fox News on Wednesday, warns that "the window for meaningful action is shrinking. So is the patience of American voters, who will question why we didn’t do more to face future supply chain crises if we fail to act today."
Slowdowns in manufacturing and transportation woes this year, due to COVID-19 outbreaks amid the worst pandemic to strike the world in a century, have caused severe global supply chain breakdowns. And while the problems are beginning to recede, manufacturing, shipping and retail executives do not predict a return to normalcy until sometime next year at the earliest. The supply chain crisis has helped fuel a spike this summer and autumn in consumer prices across the nation.
"Once invisible to consumers, the pandemic and holiday shipping crunch have unmasked the supply chain and made it kitchen table conversation," Consumer Brands CEO and president Geoff Freeman highlighted. "Voters have exhausted their patience with years of government inaction, and elected officials can’t afford to lose sight of the supply chain after New Year’s Day."
President Biden has made combating the supply chain crisis a top priority, and his administration has taken steps to alleviate the problems, in particular the massive backlogs at the nation’s largest ports.
But the Consumer Brands says it's not seeing enough action to alleviate other pain points, such as trucking capacity. The group spotlights that roughly nine in 10 of those surveyed in their poll in the key swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire think it’s important to expand trucking capacity in the new year and expect to see action from elected leaders.
"There has been significant attention on the ports in recent months, offering a playbook for how government can play a role in easing supply chain pressure," Freeman said. "However, too much focus on one link in the chain only serves to relocate bottlenecks, not solve problems."
He noted that nearly seven in 10 of those surveyed in all four states — which are crucial battlegrounds in the 2022 midterm elections — said they're more likely to back candidates who support increasing trucking capacity.
Freeman emphasized that "elected leaders have an opportunity to act on the supply chain's lessons or face challenges at the ballot box."