December 2021 Market Informer

White House Will Use Infrastructure Money To Address Port Challenges

President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) on November 15. As readers are aware, MSCI and the business community supported this important piece of legislation. Now it appears that bill could have an immediate effect on some of the supply chain challenges currently facing the industrial metals sector and other industries.

Specifically, on November 9, the Biden administration announced a plan to address port congestion by quickly utilizing new funds from the IIJA to increase port throughput and modernize operational capacities. The plan, which is outlined here, will provide flexibility in how some ports can use existing federal dollars to respond to current supply chain challenges. It also will create new short-term deadlines for some port-specific federal grant programs, including nearly $240 million in grant funding to be authorized over the next 45 days.

Additional investment with shorter-than-average timetables for deployment will be set in motion over the coming weeks. This plan also includes provisions related to digital infrastructure, data standardization, and logistics systems data management.

According to the most recent CFO Survey from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the Federal Reserve Banks of Richmond and Atlanta, more than three-quarters of company chief financial officers report supply chain disruptions, including production delays, shipping delays, reduced availability of materials, and increased materials prices.

Source: MSCI, 11.16.2021

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