Amid supply chain disruptions at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh visited the port complex Tuesday to discuss the Biden administration’s efforts to mitigate the issues.
Walsh was joined by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Rep. Nanette Barragán, D-Los Angeles, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka and Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero.
“This administration’s commitment to ports and supply chains goes far beyond the holidays. Standing with local officials, unions, employers, and port leadership today, we are focused not only on solving immediate issues — we are also building strategies for long-term resilience,” Walsh said.
In June, President Joe Biden introduced a Supply Chain Disruption Task Force to focus on transportation and logistics bottlenecks to the U.S. economic recovery. Port Envoy John Porcari was appointed in August to help drive coordination among private firms that control the transportation and logistics supply chain.
On Oct. 13, Biden announced that the Port of Los Angeles would begin operating 24 hours a day, a push from the White House to clear cargo backlogs that were threatening the holiday shopping season and slowing the nation’s economic recovery during the pandemic.
Walsh’s visit Tuesday followed a report from the ports Monday of progress reducing the number of containers lingering at the terminals. The 37% decline in aging cargo on the docks since Oct. 25 allowed the ports to again delay the “Container Excess Dwell Fee” on companies whose containers linger at marine terminals, now scheduled to go into effect if necessary on Dec. 6.
Barragán on Tuesday spoke about the Biden administration’s Infrastructure and Jobs Act, signed into law on Nov. 15. Officials say it will help address future supply chain disruptions.
“Now that Congress passed the Biden-Harris administration’s Infrastructure and Jobs Act and it’s been signed into law, we’re going to see historic investments to modernize our ports, invest in rail, and restore our ability to move goods and supplies as quickly as possible,” said Barragán, who represents neighborhoods around the ports, including San Pedro, Wilmington and North Long Beach.
“Now, we’ve got to get the Build Back Better Agenda across the finish line. It includes $3.5 billion in investments in zero-emission technology to reduce air pollution at ports, based off my Climate Smart Ports Act. Build Back Better also has $20 billion for workforce development programs that will help local people get good jobs at good wages here at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach,” Barragán continued.