A major toy executive is slamming President Biden’s plans to save Christmas from global supply chain backlogs by keeping West Coast shipping ports open around the clock, calling the move ‘too little, too late.’
MGA Entertainment CEO Isaac Larian, the billionaire toy maker behind Bratz dolls, warned that the supply chain crisis is too far gone to be remedied in time for the holiday season.
‘I think this directive is too little, too late. And frankly, it’s a political gimmick to me,’ Larian said on the Fox News show ‘America’s Newsroom’ on Thursday.
His remarks came the day after Biden announced that he had reached a deal with unions and business leaders from Walmart, FedEx, UPS and others to expand operations at one of the country’s largest shipping ports in a bid to ease supply chain bottlenecks that are driving up consumer prices and emptying store shelves.
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Isaac Larian said that President Biden’s plans to address supply chain shortages are too late to save Christmas
Larian is the billionaire toy maker behind Bratz dolls
But Larian said that keeping the ports open doesn’t address labor shortages.
‘Whether the ports are open 24 hours a day or 48 hours a day, you cannot get labor,’ he said. ‘If you cannot get labor, you cannot get trucks, you cannot get the merchandise out. And even if you get them out, it’s gonna be too late for Christmas.’
Larian said his company’s most popular toy – L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Movie Magic Studios – is only fulfilling about 60 percent of its demand from stores in America. ‘That means a lot of kids are not going to be able to get their LOL Surprise Movie Magic under the Christmas tree or Hanukkah tree this year,’ he said.
‘I’ve been doing this for 42 years. I have never, ever seen something like this before,’ he added. ‘And frankly, the administration knew about this and what they are doing is too little, too late to save this holiday.’
He argued that Biden’s administration isn’t doing enough to incentivize people to come back to work. ‘If you’re paying people to stay home and they make more money just staying home than working, they don’t want to come to work,’ he said.
Larian said, ‘I have a solution. There are hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers who do want to work and we’re keeping them in cages at the border. Let them come to work, let them free instead of feeding them and giving them money to live where they are living . . . just let them come to work.’
Supply chain bottlenecks have led to empty shelves and high prices for American consumers (pictured: bare shelves seen at a Minneapolis Walgreens on October 9)
Under the agreement. the Port of Los Angeles will join the Port of Long Beach in working around the clock
But Biden touted the agreements with ports, unions, and shippers as ‘a sign of major progress in moving goods from manufacturers to a store and to your front door.’
His remarks came yesterday shortly after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters: ‘We are not the postal service or UPS or FedEx. We cannot guarantee. What we can do is use every lever at the federal government’s disposal to reduce delays, to ensure that we are addressing bottlenecks in the system, including ports and the need for them to be open longer hours.
Once implemented the proposed changes could increase output by more than 3,500 shipping containers per week, White House officials said.
‘Traditionally, our ports have only been open during the week, Monday through Friday. And they’re generally closed down at nights and on weekends. By staying open seven days a week through the night and on the weekends, the port of Los Angeles will open over 60 extra hours a week,’ he continued. ‘That will almost double the number of hours that the port is open for business than earlier this year.’
Under the new agreement the Port of Los Angeles will join the Port of Long Beach in working around the clock to alleviate some of the supply chain bottlenecks plaguing consumers ahead of the holiday season.
Biden announced yesterday that major West Coast shipping ports would be running 24/7 to ease bottlenecks in the system
Yesterday the White House warned that many popular toys may not get here in time for Christmas (pictured: A couple shopping for the remaining towels in an otherwise empty Home Goods department of Sears in El Paso, Texas on October 10)
The consumer-price index also rose by 0.4 percent from August to September, according to data released by the Labor Department on Wednesday. That’s a 5.4 percent year-over increase, the highest in 13 years.
While slower than June’s record-setting 0.9 percent increase, it likely won’t be enough to turn the tide of inflation in time for Christmas.
Together the California ports see 40 percent of all shipping containers that enter the US.
Long Beach expanded its operations to 24-hours seven-days-per-week last month. Now, Los Angeles port officials and union leaders have agreed to add off-peak nighttime and weekend hours to help drive consumer prices down as well.
Goods at the Port of Los Angeles move 25 percent faster at night than during the day, White House officials have said.
They argue that expanding to overnight operation would help lighten the load on other links in the supply chain by easing traffic congestion during the day.
As of Monday, there were 62 ships berthed at the two ports and 81 waiting to dock and unload, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.
Supply chain issues have hampered the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and are tightly linked with the broader challenge of inflation confronting Biden.
Donald Trump took aim at his former rival on Wednesday in a statement mocking the multiple crises Biden is facing, including rising consumer prices.
‘COVID is raging out of control, our supply chains are crashing with little product in our stores, we were humiliated in Afghanistan, our Border is a complete disaster, gas prices and inflation are zooming upward—how’s Biden doing? Do you miss me yet?’ the former president said.
Trump mocked Biden’s handling of multiple national crises in a statement Wednesday morning
White House officials estimate that more than 3,500 additional shipping containers per week will be sent by night through the end of the year.
Yesterday the White House warned shoppers that popular kids’ toys could be out of reach come Christmas as Biden and Congressional Democrats struggle to turn the economic tailspin around.
Stores across the country have become increasingly barren thanks to a series of bottlenecks in the global supply chain.
Many goods that are made in China – like toys, clothes, home appliances and more – are stuck either in factories there or in containers on board cargo ships off the coast that are waiting their turn to dock.
At almost every link in the chain, there is a shortage; there aren’t enough yard workers to unpack the cargo on the ships quickly enough, nor are there enough drivers able to ferry them around on the ground. In stores, retailers don’t have enough workers to unpack them once they arrive.
It has created a nightmare economic scenario where demand for goods is far outpacing supply, driving inflation and in turn raising prices for Americans.
Republican lawmakers have frequently blasted Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package for fueling higher prices.
A recent analysis issued by the investment bank Goldman Sachs estimates that ‘supply-constrained goods’ account for 80 percent of this year´s inflation overshoot, yet the political criticism continues to sting as housing and oil prices add to inflationary pressures.
The Biden administration has argued that higher inflation is temporary. Yet the supply chain issues have persisted months after the economy began to reopen and recover after vaccines lessened many of the risks from the pandemic.