Commerce Secretary: We Are Working To Fix The Trucker Shortage

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said her department’s working to fix a broken part of the nation’s supply chain key to the Ag and food sector; a massive shortage of truck drivers. Raimondo said Commerce is working with the Departments of Transportation and Labor to license thousands of commercial truck drivers.

“Train folks to get the CDL quickly, so we have more truck drivers. There’s also a provision in the bipartisan infrastructure package, which will allow people who are 18 and above, to get the CDL and drive across state lines.”

Testimony at a recent House Agriculture hearing revealed an estimated shortage of 80,000 commercial truck drivers after the worst of the pandemic. That, she said, is a big reason the supply chain’s broken, risking further food delivery and Christmas shopping shortages.

“We are using every tool in the executive toolbox to do everything we can to work the kinks out of the supply chain and bring down prices. We worked to make sure that the ports were open, 24/7. I am leading an initiative in the semiconductor supply chain.”

The administration blames the supply chain shortages, which the Federal Reserve warns could last well into next year, for a surge in inflation hitting consumers and producers like farmers. Truckers haul more than 70% of the nation’s goods, and their shortage slows clearing of ports, deliveries to terminals, warehouses and stores, and contributes to higher shipping costs.

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