Biden Urged to Act on Shipping Crisis to Protect U.S. Economy 

Apparel, footwear, and retail business leaders concerned that inaction will drastically limit store inventory, hampering back-to-school and holiday shopping

June 15, 2021 | WASHINGTON, D.C.

The American Apparel & Footwear Association sent a letter to President Joseph Biden today regarding the ongoing shipping crisis that is disrupting the American economic recovery. 

Backups at American ports continue to disrupt supply chains, while additional disruptions such as the lack of shipping containers, skyrocketing shipping prices, and a long-term trucker shortage have amplified the impact.
AAFA has requested that the Biden administration take several immediate steps to ease the crisis:

- Coalesce key stakeholders – including carriers, port authorities, terminal operators, truckers, shippers, rail operators, etc. – to negotiate solutions to this crisis and make sure all logistics rules and regulations are being effectively enforced; and

- Offset spiraling costs by immediately removing the biggest single cost on the industry – tariffs – including the removal of punitive tariffs on imports from China and renewing the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program and the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB).

"Our industry is experiencing whopping increases in freight costs and historic shipping delays, which are already affecting the critically important back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons," said Steve Lamar, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. "We need to see action by the administration to investigate and end these pricing practices and direct relief to an industry that employs millions of Americans. Left unchecked, this crisis will continue to fuel inflation for consumers, limit our ability to supply and stock the goods that Americans want, and hobble our members’ ability – particularly small businesses – to keep Americans employed."
The full letter, including an appendix with anonymous anecdotes from AAFA members regarding the impact of the crisis, is available for download here.
The letter was sent to the Biden administration and Congress as the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee plans to hold a hearing on June 15 regarding the “Impacts of Shipping Container Shortages, Delays, and Increased Demand on the North American Supply Chain.”