US Labor Secretary Visits Top West Coast Ports as Union Talks Loom
By Lisa Baertlein LOS ANGELES, Nov 30 (Reuters) – The U.S. labor secretary on Tuesday met with unions and employers at the nation’s busiest port complex in Southern California as...
By Jarrett Renshaw and Andrea Shalal
Nov 10 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden will visit the Port of Baltimore on Wednesday to tout billions of dollars included in a $1 trillion infrastructure bill aimed at unclogging the nation’s ports, easing shortages and combating inflation.
The visit marks the first of many such trips Biden and administration officials expect to make in upcoming weeks to highlight the benefits of the $1 trillion infrastructure package that passed on Friday with bipartisan support after months of negotiations.
Before leaving the White House, Biden said reversing surging inflation is a top priority for him.
The Labor Department on Wednesday reported that U.S. consumer prices on Wednesday accelerated 6.2% in the 12 months through October, marking the largest year-on-year jump since November 1990.
The Democratic president, whose popularity has sagged in recent months, is hoping to convince voters that Democrats delivered on campaign promises to invest in the United States’ future ahead of the 2022 mid-term elections, when the party will seek to defend its thin majorities in Congress.
The White House said Biden would promote the merits of the infrastructure plan during the visit to the Baltimore port, one of the busiest in the country, while outlining steps already underway to address supply chain bottlenecks and lower prices, speed up deliveries and address shortages.
That includes working with the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to move goods around the clock, and new plans announced yesterday to relieve congestion at the Port of Savannah.
The infrastructure package includes $17 billion in investments to help ports, including dredging to allow for larger ships and capacity expansion. A separate roughly $1.75 trillion proposal will expand the country’s social safety net and fight climate change.
The Port of Baltimore imports and exports more autos, farm machinery and construction equipment than any other U.S. port. It employs more than 15,300 people.
Improvements at the Baltimore port, which can accommodate some of the largest container ships in the world, have helped alleviate congestion at other East Coast ports, the White House said.
Funding from the infrastructure bill will also address bottlenecks caused by a 150-year-old train tunnel in the heart of Baltimore.
Many U.S. ports have bridge or depth limitations that restrict their ability to receive larger vessels, while a surge of cargo is straining land operations at some ports. (Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw in Philadelphia; additional reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington; Editing by Scott Malone, Aurora Ellis and Angus MacSwan)(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021.
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