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Biden Now Claims Shipping Companies Are ‘Price Gouging’ but the Facts Say Differently

Biden Now Claims Shipping Companies Are ‘Price Gouging’ but the Facts Say Differently

There’s a tendency to ask, “What is the government doing?” when things are messed up. But as Ronald Reagan schooled us, the nine worst words in the English language are: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Beyond that, this is not the nature of our government. We’re not a dictatorship. We don’t have a king who operates by fiat. At least we’re not supposed to. The government isn’t our daddy who tells us what to do. But the more power we allow the government to have, the more those in government will take.

We already have Biden exceeding what he’s supposed to be doing with executive power provisions and the Defense Production Act. For example, he’s used the Defense Production Act to increase the production of solar panels, claiming that’s related to energy concerns. What does that have to do with the rising gas prices? But that was his excuse for the improper use of this act, to pump solar panels to fit his political agenda. Is someone making bank as a result?

In the effort to deflect from his failures when it comes to inflation and gas prices, Biden has also been going after private companies, like the oil companies, threatening them and blaming their “greed” for the rise in prices–when it’s his bad and inconsistent policies that have decimated the energy industry. Instead of letting loose private industry, thus encouraging their growth in a way that’s better for Americans, Biden is always trying to restrict it with heavy regulation, which discourages industry and growth.

Now Biden has moved on to attacking the shipping companies. Here he was on June 10 threatening to “pop ’em” — meaning, punch the people running the shipping companies.

Joe Biden threatens violence on those he disagrees with: “Every once in a while something you learn makes you viscerally angry. Like if you had the person in front of you, you’d want to pop ’em.”pic.twitter.com/AZ823lL4r7

— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) June 10, 2022

This is the guy we have in charge, with access to nuclear codes? Yeesh.

Biden just signed a bipartisan bill imposing restrictions on shipping companies, claiming there were “nine companies”–who controlled everything–that are price gouging.

But just like with the oil companies, what Biden is saying isn’t true. We’re supposed to believe that all these individual entities suddenly got greedy? Why weren’t they as greedy under President Donald Trump? The story of course is that it’s other than what Biden says–and the World Shipping Council (rightly) let Biden have it.

The World Shipping Council, whose members include Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk, destroyed Biden’s characterizations of the industry in a statement they issued on Thursday.

The Federal Maritime Commission has found that “ocean carrier competition is ‘vigorous’ and that while ocean freight prices are high, they are ‘exacerbated by the pandemic, an unexpected and unprecedent surge in consumer spending particularly in the United States, and supply chain congestion, and are the product of the market forces of supply and demand,’ ” the shipping group said.

“The worn-out talking point that ‘there’s only nine major ocean shipping lines who ship from Asia to the United States’ is also untrue. While nine lines in and of itself is evidence of competition and not concentration, there are an additional thirteen ocean liner companies that operated over 30% of the sailings from Asia to the U.S so far this year.”

In other words, what Biden has said is wrong. They have increased costs with having to deal with all the issues of the supply chain congestion, a problem Biden simply seems to dismiss. He thinks he can just regulate them or beat it out of them.

As Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey observes, the shipping company is not exactly making out hand over fist, contrary to what Biden claims. Ed explains that the industry had an operating loss of more than $3 billion in 2021. He also has another great observation — assuming this were true, the supply chain problems have been going on since Biden came into office, so why is he only addressing this now?

The purpose of this is to make it appear to his left-wing base that he’s turning the screws on those evil greedy corporations because a lot of the left-wing base has seen Biden as largely ineffective on everything, just like the right has. But at a time when the problem is that the companies have had to deal with too many problems and regulations, Biden is going to add more regulation into the bargain–maybe, with a side of threats?

Christine McDaniel, an international trade economist who is also a Senior Research Fellow at George Mason University, knocked down Biden’s claims about price gouging and monopoly. She notes it was supply and demand, as a result of the problems of the pandemic.

In fact, the final report found that the current market for ocean liners in the trans-Pacific is not concentrated, and that trans-Atlantic trade is only minimally concentrated. The market for ocean services remains highly contestable.

— Christine McDaniel (@christinemcdan) June 15, 2022

On top of that, McDaniel explains that Biden is going to drop these regulations on the industry just as the congestion seems to be abating, so suddenly inserting this on to the situation could make things worse.

But hey, at least Biden can then say he “did something,” right? And when things get worse, just as with everything else he touches, the refrain from the WH podium will be: “Not my fault, blame Putin.”

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