Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that she tells people to “call FedEx” if they ask her if the supply chain problems will mean Christmas gifts may not be delivered.
Partial transcript as follows:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Supply chains around the world have been massively disrupted over the past few months. We have all of these bottlenecks. Why haven’t the ports? Why haven’t the truckers? Why hasn’t this become unstuck?
RAIMONDO: Yeah, good morning. So, this is, as you say, a top issue for Americans. It’s a complicated- complicated issue. I mean, last year during COVID, we shut our economy down. You know, I was the governor at the time. We shut down Rhode Island’s economy. We have never seen that before. So that meant factories closed. People went home. You can’t just turn the economy back on overnight. So, it takes a little bit of time. I will say we are making progress. You know, due to the president’s leadership, we now have the ports open 24/7 seven and the two largest and busiest ports.
BRENNAN: But there are reports that those- while the president announced the 24/7 opening, that that’s not actually happening out in California, that there are still backups. The business community has been complaining about that.
RAIMONDO: There are backups. And as I said, this isn’t something that can be fixed overnight. But the important thing is, you know, fundamentally, supply chains and logistics are run by the private sector. People say to me, will Christmas gifts be delivered? To which I say, call FedEx. You know that- that isn’t what the government does. What we are doing, and the president is committed to this. We’re using every tool in our toolbox to be supportive, to help to unstick the ports. An area that I am very focused on is the semiconductor shortage. We are leaning forward into that increasing transparency in the semiconductor supply chain to make sure that we do everything possible. But this is a direct result of COVID. It is temporary and we are working every day to unstick these supply chains.
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN