Hit piece on Dina Powell.....misses.
1. Supply Chains Strains.
Global supply strains that started to ease in early 2022 are worsening again as headwinds strengthen from the war in Ukraine and China’s Covid lockdowns, threatening slower growth and faster inflation across the global economy.
After the pandemic hit Asia-U.S. trade routes the hardest over the past two years, the latest turmoil is being acutely felt in Germany, which is heavily reliant on Russian energy and suppliers across Eastern Europe. Business expectations in the region’s biggest economy during March posted the steepest one-month drop on record, factories across the continent face diesel and parts shortages, and delays moving cargo through key North Sea gateways such as Bremerhaven are lengthening. (Source: bloomberg.com)
2. “Grave uncertainty.”
In a world contending with no end of economic troubles, a fresh source of concern now looms: the prospect of a confrontation between union dockworkers and their employers at some of the most critical ports on earth.
The potential conflict centers on negotiations over a new contract for more than 22,000 union workers employed at 29 ports along the West Coast of the United States. Nearly three-fourths work at the twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the primary gateway for goods shipped to the United States from Asia, and a locus of problems afflicting the global supply chain.
The contract for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union expires at the end of June. For those whose livelihoods are tied to ports — truckers, logistics companies, retailers — July 1 marks the beginning of a period of grave uncertainty.
A labor impasse could worsen the floating traffic jams that have kept dozens of ships waiting in the Pacific before they can pull up to the docks. That could aggravate shortages and send already high prices for consumer goods soaring. (Source: nytimes.com)
3. China’s Covid crisis.
All eyes are on China as it attempts to quash its largest COVID-19 outbreaks since the early days of the pandemic. More than 62,000 people across all 31 of its provinces are infected, most of them with the fast-spreading BA.2 Omicron variant.
The outbreaks have plunged tens of millions of people into lockdown. President Xi Jinping announced earlier this month that China would stick to its ‘dynamic zero-COVID strategy’, which aims to stamp out infections and prevent the virus from spreading through communities. This policy now stands in contrast to a global trend towards easing restrictions and attempting to co-exist with the circulating virus.
China’s hard-line approach to eliminating COVID-19 seems to be softening. In his speech, Xi also flagged a more pragmatic strategy, asking that officials limit the economic impact of control measures. In practice, this means that people with asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 are being sent to dedicated isolation centers rather than hospitals, and are monitored for shorter periods than previously required. But some researchers are divided about whether the virus will spread out of control before the government has time to prepare. (Source: nature.com)
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