Biden Tells Private Companies to 'Step Up' or He'll Take 'All Appropriate Action'

By Susan Jones | October 14, 2021 | 7:06am EDT
President Joe Biden speaks about efforts to ease supply chain bottlenecks on October 13, 2021. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
President Joe Biden speaks about efforts to ease supply chain bottlenecks on October 13, 2021. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - President Biden appeared to threaten private companies on Wednesday, as he told them to "step up" their operations to ease the supply chain backlog, which involves ships waiting offshore to unload their cargo, as containers stack up on docks waiting for trucks.

And if private companies don't step up?

"If federal support is needed, I will direct all appropriate action," Biden said. "And if the private sector doesn't step up, we're going to call them out and ask them to act, because our goal is not only to get through this immediate bottleneck but to address the long-standing weaknesses in our transportation supply chain that this pandemic has exposed."

Biden wants retailers, terminal operators, railways, trucking companies, shippers, and other private businesses to "go all-in on 24/7 operations" to move imported goods from California ports to store shelves.

Biden announced that Walmart has committed to "a 50 percent increase in the use of off-peak hours over the next several weeks." FedEx and UPS also have agreed to move more goods at night, he said. And Target, Home Depot, and Samsung "have all committed to ramp up their activities to utilize off-peak hours at the ports. So the commitments being made today are a sign of major progress in moving goods from manufacturers to a store or to your front door," Biden said.

Biden thanked the private companies he mentioned by name for their "across-the-board commitment to going to 24/7."

This is a big first step in speeding up the movement of materials and goods through our supply chain. But now, we need the rest of the private sector chain to step up as well. This is not called a supply chain for nothing. This means that terminal operators, railways, trucking companies, shippers, and other retailers as well. Strengthening our supply chain will continue to be my team's focus.

If federal support is needed, I will direct all appropriate action. And if the private sector doesn't step up, we're going to call them out and ask them to act, because our goal is not only to get through this immediate bottleneck but to address the long-standing weaknesses in our transportation supply chain that this pandemic has exposed.

Biden already has demonstrated his willingness to dictate to the private sector.

Earlier this month, Biden announced that he's directed his Labor Department to issue an emergency rule requiring all employers with 100 or more people, whether they work for the federal government or not -- "to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or face testing at least once a week."

Some private companies worry about employees quitting if they're forced to get a shot.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, part of the Labor Department, is still working on the vaccine mandate rule, which will be published in the federal register very soon. It is expected to face immediate legal challenges.

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