Opening Statements

Thompson Delivers Opening Statement at Full Committee Hearing on Supply Chain Crisis

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Washington, November 3, 2021 | comments

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding today’s very important—and long overdue—hearing to review current strains within the supply chain and their impact on American agriculture. I see this as the first of many public conversations on this topic by our Committee.  
 
As the United States emerges from the pandemic, we are facing a new combination of challenges and consequences, including rapidly rising inflation, skyrocketing energy costs, and a shortage of available goods and labor. As we approach the holidays, these issues are on the minds of every American. In addition to everyday needs, meals, gifts, and celebrations will look wildly different this year as families face an onslaught of high prices, limited stock, and minimal customer service.
 
The Biden Administration would lead you to believe these are “high-class problems.” This flippant statement represents just how out of touch this Administration is with main street, and the everyday people who see their hard-earned dollars stretched thinner every day.
 
Mr. Chairman, I would have liked to see the Administration participating in today’s hearing. While I appreciate the peril each of our witnesses is working through, I think it is necessary to hear from one of the main culprits. In too many instances, the White House uses industry as a scapegoat rather than partnering with them to solve problems. While we can mull other factors like natural disasters, much of what we will hear about today is how feckless, liberal policies under consideration by this Administration are compounding—instead of mitigating—this crisis.  
 
This Administration has singlehandedly perpetuated a fear of higher taxes, contemplated regulations that will limit crop protection tools and land use, reduced our nation’s energy independence, reverted to divisive and unreasonable vaccine mandates, and challenged regulations in our transportation sector. To make matters worse, as we sit here, trillions more in reckless spending are being readied behind closed doors, funding that will only add fuel to the fire of skyrocketing inflation and economic uncertainty.
 
More so, and let me be very clear, this is a ruinous crisis for our farmers and ranchers who buy retail, sell wholesale, and pay shipping each way. Increased input costs are hampering producers’ abilities to provide an affordable food and fiber supply. To add insult to injury, transportation and shipping delays have serious consequences on their ability to export products—a void being filled by foreign competitors.
 
I can only hope this excellent panel will shed some light on a path out of this mess, and I hope this Committee considers inviting the Administration to testify about this very issue as well. I look forward to working with you, Mr. Chairman, to bring forth solutions, many of which we will hear about today.
 
I want to thank the expert witnesses who have joined us today on very short notice and the numerous associations, organizations, and businesses who have provided additional testimony in advance of this hearing.

With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

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