(Chuck Muth) – With the exception of some in the media – and those using it as an election year issue – most people have put the COVID pandemic in their rear-view mirror.
But the fallout from global economic shutdowns continues to dramatically alter business-as-usual in international markets.
Topping the list of ongoing disruptions are supply chain issues. Shipping delays have resulted in empty shelves in the U.S. for everything from auto parts to computer chips.
And then there’s Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has “further snarled global trade and added to the surge in freight costs.”
As such, more and more American corporations are bringing manufacturing operations back home.
A recent Bloomberg report notes that “CEOs have been highlighting plans to relocate production – using the buzzwords onshoring, reshoring or nearshoring – at a greater clip this year than they even did in the first six months of the pandemic.”
That includes both large and smaller companies, signaling “a major re-assessment of supply chains in the wake of port bottlenecks, parts shortages and skyrocketing shipping costs that have wreaked havoc on corporate budgets in the US and across the globe.”
Fortunately, at least for now, the strength of domestic food manufacturing in the U.S. have kept food shortages to a minimum – thanks in large part to American farmers who grow key commodities here at home and fast delivery.
It’s one thing to have to wait days or weeks for a new transmission for your used pick-up truck. It’d be another thing altogether if you had to wait days or weeks for milk, bread, meats and poultry.
Congress should keep this in mind as it prepares to debate the new farm bill next year. There are some who continue to advocate for making the U.S. more reliant on “cheap,” often government-subsidized, imported foods and food products.
That would be a big mistake.
Because it doesn’t matter how “cheap” something is priced…if you can’t get it.
Free Market Sugar is a project of Citizen Outreach, a non-partisan grassroots advocacy organization