Gavin Newsom to the Rescue: Signs Executive Order on Cargo Crisis
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on Wednesday that, he claims, will address the cargo crisis at Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, which saw a record 100 ships at anchor Tuesday and has caused a nationwide supply shock.
The White House immediately celebrated Newsom’s executive order with a laudatory tweet from press secretary Jen Psaki:
CA joins ports, unions, retailers, and railways in our 24/7 effort to untangle supply chains, lower prices, and speed up deliveries for Americans. https://t.co/uuPq82BTqn
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) October 20, 2021
However, it is not clear what, if anything, Newsom’s executive order will do to address the crisis, which is a result of high demand for imports; a shortage of dock workers and truckers; and storage and logistical problems at the ports themselves.
In an aerial view, container ships are anchored by the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as they wait to offload on September 20, 2021 near Los Angeles, California. Amid a record-high demand for imported goods and a shortage of shipping containers and truckers, the twin ports are currently seeing unprecedented congestion. On September 17, there were a record total of 147 ships, 95 of which were container ships, in the twin ports, which move about 40 percent of all cargo containers entering the U.S. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Newsom’s order directs state agencies to “identify additional ways to alleviate congestion at California ports”; to “continue coordinating with the Biden-Harris Administration Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force”; and to consider long-term plans for better storage, transportation, and skills training. It also directs state agencies to “identify priority freight routes to be considered for a temporary exemption to current gross vehicle limits to allow for trucks to carry additional goods.”
The text of the order also touts California’s past investments at the Port of Oakland and its plans for zero-emissions trucks.
The cargo crisis has been ongoing for months, with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg convening a roundtable on port congestion in July — shortly before disappearing for an unannounced paternity leave in mid-August, which continues.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.