Joe Biden

Readout of Latest Industry Stakeholder Engagements on the Port of Baltimore

April 08, 2024

Last week, the National Economic Council (NEC) convened stakeholders across the auto, energy, chemical, and industrial sectors to continue the Biden-Harris Administration's efforts to support affected industries and mitigate supply chain impacts stemming from the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and the partial closure of the Port of Baltimore.

Representatives from the White House, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, and Department of Transportation provided updates on the situation, including ongoing efforts to remove wreckage and reopen the Port as soon as possible. (The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has now shared a tentative timeline for restoring access, and several large automobile importers have committed to take steps to try to return key cargo operations to the Port of Baltimore once it reopens.) The representatives underscored federal, state, and local governments' continued efforts to reach out to impacted stakeholders, provide economic support to displaced workers and affected small businesses, monitor capacity at alternative ports, and coordinate timely, all-of-government responses to supply chain disruptions. Stakeholders from the auto, energy, chemical, and industrial sectors spoke with Federal representatives and offered suggestions for addressing specific concerns.

These convenings followed two stakeholder listening sessions held the prior week, one led by Secretary Buttigieg with ports, labor groups, and industry partners focused on navigating temporary shipping and transportation diversions, and another led by the Department of Agriculture with federal, state, agricultural, and food industry stakeholders to assess potential short-term impacts to the agriculture and food sectors.

Auto industry stakeholders reported minimal impacts to operations, largely attributed to successful diversion of their cargo to other ports. Auto sector representatives emphasized the importance of monitoring capacity at alternative East Coast ports, increasing trucking capacity to facilitate moving vehicles back to the Baltimore area in a timely manner, and ensuring the port returns to full operational capacity as soon as possible.

Representatives from the energy, chemical, and industrial sectors also reported minimal supply chain impacts at this time. Aluminum industry stakeholders stressed the importance of the Port of Baltimore to the aluminum sector and asked for the Administration's continued support during the temporary disruption

The NEC reaffirmed the President's commitment to "move heaven and earth" to fully reopen the port as soon as possible and to support the people of Baltimore. The NEC will continue to engage with stakeholders experiencing economic impacts over the coming weeks and will work to ameliorate supply chain impacts and coordinate all-of-government support for impacted industries, workers, communities.

Joseph R. Biden, Readout of Latest Industry Stakeholder Engagements on the Port of Baltimore Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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