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– The White House blames shipping companies for inflation and supply-chain issues.

– “Price-gouging by the ocean shipping cartel” has fueled inconvenience and inflation for Americans, the Biden administration said in an email to reporters.

– The message is the latest step by the White House to shift blame and ease concerns around heightened inflation ahead of the 2022 elections.

Shipping companies’ greed is fueling the global supply-chain crisis, according to the White House.

Democrats are scrambling to solve the supply-chain nightmare as the holiday shopping season ramps up and the party looks ahead to midterm campaigns. Shipping backlogs, truck-driver shortages, and port bottlenecks have driven inflation to three-decade highs as businesses struggle to fulfill orders from Americans who are spending a ton right now. The White House has rushed to solve the tangle with fines for sitting containers and calls for around-the-clock work at key ports. Republicans, meanwhile, are using the supply problems to hammer Democrats ahead of the 2022 elections, saying Biden’s struggles with inflation are “a gold mine for us.

The Biden administration took new action to shift blame and ease concerns ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. A Wednesday email to reporters detailed “three quick points on supply chain progress” that countered the narrative of a worsening crisis. Among them was a shot across the bow of the shipping companies that make up the backbone of the world’s supply chain. While the administration didn’t single out specific companies, some of the most prominent names in the industry include Maersk, COSCO, and Evergreen. Broadly, the shipping sector saw profits hit a record $48.1 billion in the third quarter of 2021.

“The cartel of shipping companies that control the terms of global trade have never been more profitable,” the White House said. “In the third quarter alone, they made $48 billion, which is nine times more than they made the year before…”

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(PS: Indeed “too little, too late” springs to mind…)

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