LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh visited the Port of Los Angeles Tuesday to discuss the Biden-Harris administration's efforts to smooth out the supply chain and keep the post-pandemic economy growing.
Walsh was joined by port officials, the mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and Long Beach Rep. Nanette Barragan. The visit comes a day after port officials again delayed a fee aimed at shipping containers that linger too long on the docks because cargo has been moving faster since the fees were announced.
Pandemic lockdowns and the spread of COVID-19 put a screeching halt to economies across the globe, and the U.S. economy was no exception. But Walsh credited President Biden's economic plan with a "historic recovery."
"We've seen at least 5.6 million jobs return and new unemployment claims are at their lowest level in 50 years," Walsh said in a statement. "This is a worker-centered recovery, and we are focused on what working families need."
The pandemic's effects on the global supply chain has caused an unprecedented backlog of container ships waiting to unload their cargo at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In an effort to unsnarl the backlog, Biden convinced port officials and the heads of corporations like Walmart, FedEx, UPS, Samsung, Home Depot and Target to shift to a 24-hour operation. A multi-billion loan agreement was also reached with the Department of Transportation to expedite work on port-specific upgrades like expanding capacity for freight rail, expanding inland warehouse storage, and upgrading highways to improve truck travel times.
"We are focused not only on solving immediate issues – we are also building strategies for long-term resilience," Walsh said.
Walsh's visit to Los Angeles will also include a roundtable discussion on apprenticeships Wednesday with LA County Supervisor ad former U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.
for more features.