President Biden Forms Supply Chain Council:
President Joe Biden looks to address supply chain resilience by announcing the creation of a new Supply Chain Council, emphasizing the need to combat price gouging and lower costs for American families. He acknowledged persistent high prices but claimed progress. Biden attributed inflation to supply chain issues and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, while Republicans pointed to his 2021 $1.9 trillion COVID relief package as the cause.
Biden announced 30 actions during the council meeting, focusing on improving access to medicine, economic data, and supply chain processes. He vowed to tackle "junk fees" hidden in bills. The council builds upon earlier efforts to address supply chain challenges contributing to inflation.
Inflation remains a concern for Biden's approval ratings, despite a slowdown from a peak of 9.1% in June 2022 to 3.2%. He criticized GOP policies, arguing they'd leave supply chains vulnerable and cut infrastructure investments. He accused companies of exploiting inflation for profit.
Among the 30 actions, Biden will use the Defense Production Act to invest in domestic medicine production crucial for national security. The government will enhance supply chain monitoring through data sharing, assess risks, and promote renewable energy resources. Shipping companies will utilize Transportation Department data for logistics.
The council, co-chaired by Lael Brainard and Jake Sullivan, includes Cabinet heads, the U.S. Trade Representative, and other key officials, demonstrating a commitment to addressing supply chain challenges affecting the U.S. economy.
TIA has begun reaching out to meet with the leaders of the Council to share the views of our members and the 3PL industry.
Senate FAA Bill Close to Resolution:
Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and John Thune (R-SD) are close to resolving a dispute over pilot training rules that had stalled the Senate's FAA bill for months. They hope to reach an agreement this week, potentially leading to the bill receiving a markup next week and a possible move to the Senate floor before the end of the year. While details of the agreement remain undisclosed, both Senators expressed optimism.
Senator Cantwell, who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, mentioned that further conversations were needed but indicated that a successful resolution could lead to a markup for the bill. She anticipated that talks would conclude within the next couple of days. Thune emphasized that the pilot training deal would address pilot shortages and incorporate advanced training technology.
Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ted Cruz (R-TX) also expressed hope for scheduling a markup next week. Senator Thune noted the possibility of passing the entire FAA bill by year's end, potentially attaching it to other legislative vehicles, such as the National Defense Authorization Act.
The dispute originated from an amendment by Thune that aimed to reduce the 1,500-hour requirement to become a commercial pilot for certain training outside the cockpit. The amendment led to the June markup's cancellation.
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-4th/LA) has urged the Senate to pass the House version of the FAA bill that has been on Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) desk for months. With the FAA currently operating under a temporary authorization, a long-term deal is of the essence before the end of the year or T&I Chairman Sam Graves (R-6th/MO) will need another stop-gap bill to buy more time for the Senate. The House Aviation Subcommittee held a hearing last week that TIA attended expressing urgency for the Senate to go forward with the House version. Without a long-term agreement, the aviation industry will inevitably face staff shortages, airport improvement project cancelations, and inefficiency within the totality of aviation operations.
Chinese EV Manufacturer seeks Relief From POTUS:
Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD has requested the removal of a 25 percent duty on its exports to the United States, which was imposed over five years ago by former President Donald Trump. This request was made as part of the Biden administration's mandatory four-year review of tariffs imposed by Trump on more than $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. BYD argued that maintaining the duty on Chinese-made electric vehicles contradicted the Biden administration's goal of increasing EV sales to combat climate change.
However, BYD faces tough odds, as President Joe Biden has signed legislation aimed at boosting domestic electric vehicle production, and some members of Congress have encouraged raising tariffs on Chinese EVs. Chinese EVs have struggled to gain a foothold in the U.S. due to the 25 percent tariff imposed by Trump.
In contrast, in the European Union, where Chinese EVs have a growing market share, there is an investigation that could lead to countervailing duties on Chinese EVs to offset alleged subsidies. Tesla, a U.S. electric car company that builds vehicles in China for export to the EU, also filed comments with the U.S. Trade Representative, calling for reforms that could lead to the removal of tariffs on some electric vehicle parts.