"Our country is a mess," Trump claimed © Scott Olson/Getty Images
"Our country is a mess," Trump claimed © Scott Olson/Getty Images

Trump claims 'no one talked about supply chains' under his presidency

28 January 2022

Former US president Donald Trump says the country’s supply chains are “messed up” and publishers can’t produce his book due to shortages.

During a podcast with former Fox News presenter Lou Dobbs, Trump claimed “nobody [had] ever even heard the term ‘supply chain’” while he was president. 

Trump said publishers were unable to distribute his “very successful” book, which features over 300 images of the former president, due to paper and ink shortages.

“The publisher, the printer, who is one of the biggest in the country, I think he said he has eight plants, he said, ‘Well we have one problem—we can't get paper, we can't get ink’,” he said.

“‘We can't get glue. We can't get leather for the covers’. [The publisher] said, ‘I've been doing this for 40 years, I’ve never had a problem getting anything.’”

Despite Trump’s claims, the book is not published with a leather cover. 

Dobbs said: “It is clear certainly that if corporate America had listened to you, and put America first, hired American, bought American, and brought their plants back to the United States, there would be no so-called ‘supply chain’ disruptions.”

Responding to Dobbs, Trump said: “Let's talk about the supply chain. It was automatic. It just was embedded. And it was embedded in a free country in a democracy. It was embedded in our country. We didn't sit around and talk about supply chains. Now all of a sudden it's the two words that people are using most because you can't get anything.”

He continued: “You look at big grocery stores, big chains, they have empty shelves. 60-70% of the shelves are empty. In some cases, more than that. People can't get food. They can't get clothing.

“Nobody talked about 'supply chains' and now we have even that messed up. Our country is a mess. Our country is an absolute disaster,” he concluded.

The US is currently experiencing mass supply chain disruptions. According to software company Interos’s Annual Global Supply Chain report, disruptions have cost large US companies an average $228m

It is estimated the US has a shortage of 80,000 HGV drivers, and wait times at one of the country’s busiest ports in Los Angeles reached 28 days in January. 

While president, Trump sought to use supply chain disruptions as a case to increase domestic manufacturing.

During a coronavirus taskforce meeting he said: “This pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of keeping vital supply chains at home. We cannot outsource our independence, we cannot be reliant on foreign nations. I've been saying this for a long time. If we've learned one thing it's let's do it here, let's build it here, let's make it here.”

President Joe Biden has introduced various measures to strengthened US supply chains, including investing $17bn in the country's ports as part of its Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, as well as introducing 24-hour operations at various ports to ease pressure on freight. 

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