The American economy has delivered stronger growth in President Biden’s first year of office than any other president in the last 50 years. Since Day 1, President Biden has been laser-focused on reopening the economy and has taken aggressive action to lower the price of goods and gasoline for Americans.
The President’s Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force has made significant progress to alleviate bottlenecks that are rooted in the global pandemic, and today the President will convene members of his Cabinet and private sector CEOs for an update.
- Moving record amounts of goods to keep shelves stocked: Due to record demand, our nation’s ports are moving more goods than ever before. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach—which handle 40% of the nation’s containerized imports—moved 15% more containers between January and November this year than 2018, the previous record. That’s why the President convened our largest ports and retailers to move towards 24/7 operations to help alleviate bottlenecks in our global supply chain and ensure the smooth delivery of goods for businesses large and small. Retailers are confirming shelves are stocked and they are prepared for a robust holiday season.
The Administration also continues to closely watch how the Omicron variant could compound global supply chain disruptions at Asian or U.S. ports, and is working with ports around the world to prioritize critical medical supplies and PPE.
- Cracking down on delays and shining a light on profiteering: When cargo sit on docks for extended periods, bottlenecks worsen, goods can’t make it to stores, and prices can rise for consumers. That’s why the Administration worked with the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in early November to impose a fee on ocean carriers if their cargo sits on docks for over eight days. Since then, the number of containers sitting on the docks for over eight days has fallen by nearly 50% and the average amount of time containers sit on docks has fallen by a week. The price of shipping a container between Asia and the West Coast has fallen by more than 25% since its peak in September. Nevertheless, the price of shipping remains elevated and, as the ocean carriers report profits 9 times larger than a year ago, the President looks forward to working with Congress on bipartisan legislation to strengthen the Federal Maritime Commission.
- Launching the Port Action and Trucking Action Plans: This week, the Administration is announcing $230 million in Port Infrastructure Development Grants—the only federal grant program wholly dedicated to investments in port infrastructure. This is the latest step in the Port Action Plan (PAP) announced in November, which accelerates investments in our ports, waterways, and freight networks after passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal. The PAP helped the Port of Savannah launch three “pop-up” container yards to reduce congestion and includes $12.6 million for marine highway projects and over $50 billion in highway funding that can be used to modernize freight corridors. This builds on investments in port and freight infrastructure communities have made using the American Rescue Plan such as Florida’s $250 million investment in ports.
- Taking bold action to reduce gasoline prices: Last month, the President authorized the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to make 50 million barrels of crude oil available to increase global oil supplies. The Administration also engaged with Japan, South Korea, India, and the United Kingdom, each of whom acted in parallel to boost supplies, as well as with OPEC+ members who maintained their schedule for increasing production levels heading into January. These actions have helped contribute to falling prices at the pump.
Last week, the Administration announced its Trucking Action Plan (TAP) to recruit and retain more truckers by improving job quality. The TAP will help states reduce their commercial drivers license backlogs, kick off a 90-day challenge to expand Registered Apprenticeships with the private sector, step up the recruitment of veterans, and launch a Driving Good Jobs Initiative to address issues that hurt retention such as unpaid wait times. The average price at the pump is down 12 cents per gallon since the peak last month, and prices are continuing to fall.
The average price at the pump is now $3.30. This price is in line with the real price of gasoline over the previous ten years from 2011-2020. While current price levels aren’t unprecedented, the President believes that they are too high especially given that we are emerging from a once-in-a-century pandemic.
Right now, twenty-one states have state-level averages below $3.15. That puts those states below both the 10-year real average of $3.30 per gallon and also below the 20-year real average of $3.18 per gallon. That number is increasing week by week, with only 11 states below that $3.15 threshold a month ago.