Buttigieg visits California ports amid supply chain woes

U.S.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (NewsNation Now) — United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg paid a visit to ports in California Tuesday to lay out actions of the Biden administration’s supply chain task force.

On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom put forward a budget with $2.3 billion for ports.

The container ship backlog in Southern California has plagued the nation’s two biggest ports. In October, over 100 ships were anchored and waiting to offload cargo, causing delays and angering environmentalists. While the backlog is down by 60%, according to the Port of Los Angeles, Buttigieg was careful to say we are not out of the woods.

“I want to note, this does not mean that the issue has been solved. It’s not just how many ships can you see, it’s how many ships are on their way,” he said.

In December, Buttigieg awarded more than $241 million in grants to bolster U.S ports, part of the Biden administration’s near-term plan to address America’s clogged supply chain with infrastructure improvements to speed the flow of goods.

The transportation money is being made available immediately for 25 projects in 19 states. Next year, the amount of money for port improvements will nearly double to $450 million in grants annually for five years under President Biden’s new infrastructure law.

The grant money includes $52.3 million to help boost rail capacity at the port in Long Beach, 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.

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