Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has siphoned off $241 million in taxpayer funds to help besieged U.S ports, part of the Biden administration’s quick fix to address America’s clogged supply chain.

The cash splash is intended to fund infrastructure improvements to speed the flow of goods and address the crisis that has fueled price increases in nearly every sector of the economy for American families and workers.

The transportation money is being made available immediately to 25 projects in 19 states, AP reports.

Next year, the amount of money for port improvements will nearly double to $450 million in grants annually for five years under President Joe Biden’s new infrastructure law.

“U.S. maritime ports play a critical role in our supply chains,” Buttigieg said with Thursday’s announcement. “These investments in our nation’s ports will help support American jobs, efficient and resilient operations and faster delivery of goods to the American people.”

Biden on Wednesday touted the coming grants as one of a series of efforts that will alleviate supply bottlenecks over the short and long term.

“Earlier this fall we heard a lot of dire warnings about supply chain problems leading to a crisis around the holidays, so we acted,” Biden said. “We brought together business and labor leaders to solve problems and the much predicted crisis didn’t occur. Packages are moving. Gifts are being delivered. Shelves are not empty.”

The grant money includes $52.3 million to help boost rail capacity at the port in Long Beach, Calif., with a new locomotive facility, 10,000-foot support track and extensions of five existing tracks to speed up freight movement while cutting down the number of truck trips required to do that.

Cargo ships loaded with containers wait offshore to unload from the Port of Long Beach on November 12, 2021 in Long Beach, California. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Just over one month ago around 160 ships stood offshore waiting outside Long Beach and Los Angeles port complex to unload goods.

Other recipients include:

— Portsmouth, Virginia, $20 million, to help build out a supply chain for the offshore wind industry.

— Brunswick, Georgia, $14.6 million, to build a fourth berth for cargo ships at Colonel’s Island Terminal.

— Houston, $18.3 million, to help pay for a 39-acre greenspace at the Bayport Container Terminal.

— Tell City, Indiana, $1.6 million, to construct a 40-foot diameter pier on the Ohio River that can be used direct barge-to-truck unloading of cargo.

— Delcambre, Louisiana, $2 million, for dock restoration and climate resiliency.

Backlogged ports and supply chain problems have been one of the defining features of this administration and turned public sentiment on the economy against Biden in polls.

No comments:

Post a Comment