Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Friday, 09 July 2021. You can receive this daily intel brief by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa
- Factories shutting down as port stresses persist
- Schumer pushing party-line priorities in Senate
- Infrastructure funding with COVID money
- House Judiciary finds common ground
- Mask companies closing their doors
FACTORIES: Supply chain analysts determined the continued slowdown in Chinese port activity is beginning to have broader consequences. Factories are halting production on many consumer and industrial items as port cargo storage is past capacity, so the factories use their own limited storage facilities. The production stoppage is predicted to impact a wide range of consumer goods from clothing to electronics and manufactured furniture. The continued ripple effect of the worldwide port backlog is showing its effects and will continue for the next several months. (Recommendation: Consider sourcing items from countries other than China, if possible. Also, continue to procure durable goods like tools in advance as their availability may become limited in the future. – D.M.)
SCHUMER: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) released a letter to colleagues detailing his legislative plans for the summer. The main priorities are “consider(ing) both the bipartisan infrastructure legislation and a budget resolution with reconciliation” setting up a simple-majority passage scenario. If that occurs, it would quickly sideline any bipartisan efforts as Democrats would be the sole determinant in the funding priorities. – D.M.
ROADS: States with unused funds from the American Rescue Plan are being encouraged to dedicate it to infrastructure improvements. Apparently, the overly broad language of the plan allows for spending on broadband internet expansion, green facility upgrades or sewer and water modernization. States would use the funds as a new infrastructure package remains in the works and is likely to be significantly less than the proposed $4 trillion. (Analyst Comment: These short-term spending projects can inject fast capital during the national reopening but traditional “roads and bridges” projects, while important to maintain, have shown no major positive economic impact. – D.M.)
ANTITRUST: House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee introduced a series of antitrust measures to address censorship of conservatives and “dissenting” medical opinions online. The legislation follows bipartisan passage of several other antitrust provisions, signaling at least tacit support for the idea by Democrats. The legislative move compliments an executive order President Biden is expected to sign today addressing a wide range of labor, technology and regulatory issues. (Analyst Comment: The executive order will have a fairly immediate impact on the labor market but Republican hopes of passing antitrust legislation are only in the August debt ceiling negotiations or September funding battles. – D.M.)
MASKS: As US vaccination rates begin to plateau and COVID hospitalizations rise in some areas, mask manufacturers are shutting down. In many cases, the closure isn’t voluntary as PPE companies look to the government for support, now lacking the steady hospital, clinic and commercial ordering. The increased number of variants may lead to new restrictions in some areas and induce panic buying of PPE. The closures also come on the heels of a watchdog assessment of the National Strategic Stockpile and found it woefully short in many basic PPE items. (Recommendation: Consider purchasing extra masks and other protective items in the event variants cause a run on the commercial supply. – D.M.)
HURRICANE SEASON: Tropical Storm Elsa continues up the New England coast and is expected to push into the Atlantic today and tomorrow. The storm continues to generate tornadoes with current warnings in Delaware and New Jersey. The cluster of systems over southern Texas dissipated as well.
In today’s Early Warning, Max examines the likelihood of Far Left protests at CPAC 2021 in Dallas, Texas and has a roll-up of upcoming unrest this week. Upgrade your situational awareness to situational understanding here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe