Trump issued a statement on Thursday claiming the Biden administration was trying to blame him for the crisis as a large number of ships laden with cargo are idling off California waiting to be unloaded.
The value of the cargo on ships waiting to enter the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is estimated at $22 billion, according to freight and logistics news site FreightWaves, while a record of more than 100 ships were waiting on Tuesday.
Trump’s statement said: “So funny to watch the Biden Administration try to blame ‘Trump’ for the fact that there are thousands of ships that can’t be unloaded, in any other time but now a very simple task.”
“No, just like the Border, just like the Afghanistan withdrawal, just like Inflation, and just like many other things that have gone so wrong for our Country, it’s the Biden Administration that’s at fault.
“They are only really good at two things, rigging elections and misinformation!” the statement said.
Trump may be referring to a tweet from White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain on October 13. Klain shared an article from The New York Times about steps Biden was taking on the supply chain and wrote: “Like many other problems we have inherited, we are tackling the supply chain mess.”
President Biden would not rule out deploying the National Guard to help reduce pressure on the nation’s truckers during a CNN town hall event with Anderson Cooper on Thursday. There is currently a shortage of truckers which is contributing to the port backlog.
“You’re actually talking about having National Guardsmen and women driving trucks?” Cooper asked.
“The answer is yes, if we can’t move, increase the number of truckers, which we’re in a process of doing” the president replied.
However, following Biden’s remarks, a White House official told CNN that the administration was not currently considering deploying the National Guard for that purpose.
“Requesting the use of the National Guard at the state level is under the purview of governors and we are not actively pursuing the use of the National Guard on a federal level,” the official said.
When the president was asked on Thursday about a timetable for deploying the National Guard, he said: “First of all, I want to get the ports up and running and get the railroads and the railheads and the trucks in port ready to move because I’ve gotten Walmart and others to say we’re going to move stuff off of the port into our warehouses.”
Biden has directed the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to operate on a 24/7 basis to ease the shipping problems but the ports are not yet able to meet this requirement because importers don’t have enough truck drivers to move goods around the clock.
Rail yards and warehouses are also experiencing worker shortages, which has created difficulties in unpacking cargo containers. The supply chain issues began as COVID-19 caused workplace shutdowns but have recently grown worse at a time when Americans are beginning to make purchases for the holidays.