July ’22 at-a-glance … supply chain

Contract negotiations continue with West Coast dockworkers

Despite the July 1 contract expiration, negotiations continue between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), representing employers at 29 ports along the West Coast, and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU), which represents 15,600 dockworkers at those ports. “Cargo operations continue beyond the expiration of the contract,” the groups said in a joint statement. “Neither party is preparing for a strike or a lockout, contrary to speculation in news reports.”

A recent analysis by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) determined that a closure at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which alone handle 40% of U.S. imports from Asia, would cost the U.S. economy about a half-billion dollars each day. A 15-day stoppage would cost 41,000 U.S. jobs, approximately 15% of them in manufacturing.

To encourage the parties to remain at the bargaining table, NAFEM and other members of Americans for Free Trade (AFT) sent a letter to the Biden administration asking them to work with the parties to reach a new agreement without any distributions to port activity.

The PMA hosts a 2022 negotiations website to share news. The site does not provide up-to-the-minute updates on the negotiations.

Supply Chain Resiliency Act still in play

Despite moving slowly through legislative channels, NAFEM’s resources confirm that the Supply Chain Resiliency Act is likely to pass both the House and Senate. If approved, the Act would establish the Office of Supply Chain Resiliency withing the Department of Commerce to support U.S. companies and supply chains vulnerable to shortages and price increases. The Senate version is currently with the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. The House version  is with the Committee on Energy and Commerce.