Army Corps of Engineers gets $14B to help ease supply chains

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden pauses as he signs his first executive orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Jan. 20, 2021. Biden’s long arc in public life has always had one final ambition: to sit behind the Resolute Desk of the Oval Office. He achieved it, albeit at 78 the oldest person to assume the presidency.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

The Biden administration on Wednesday announced the release of $14 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers to fund 500 projects, with a focus on easing supply chain problems.

The spending stems largely from President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure deal, and the administration is attempting to showcase how the projects will improve supply chain backlogs.

There are three specific projects tied to reducing supply bottlenecks by making it easier to transport goods, according to a White House fact sheet obtained by The Associated Press. U.S. ports have struggled to manage the inflow of container ships and move containers onto trucks as the economy recovered from the pandemic, prompting delays in sending goods to consumers and higher prices.

Among the projects being funded for the Army Corps of Engineers is $858 million to replace locks on the Ohio River so that water levels are high enough for large cargo ships. Locks are enclosures that help to raise and lower water levels and make it easier to navigate waterways on uneven terrain. Wednesday’s announcement includes $470 million for a new lock in Michigan that is key for shipping iron ore.

In California, there will be $8 million spent on navigation that will allow larger and more ships to pass at the Port of Long Beach, which is part of the nation’s largest port complex.

Norfolk Harbor in Virginia will receive $69 million to expand its capacity, after handling 67% more shipping containers in 2021 than it did 10 years ago.

7 Manufacturing Stocks That Will Overcome Current Difficulties

The manufacturing industry was one of the hardest hits in 2020. In the initial months of the coronavirus pandemic, many companies were forced to shutter operations. However, opportunistic investors kept their eye on several of these companies as recovery stocks. And at the beginning of 2021, the emergence of several vaccines allowed businesses to reopen.  Not surprisingly, manufacturing stocks were among the biggest winners.

But where are these stocks headed in 2022? In December, American manufacturers reported their slowest pace of growth in 11 months. A closely followed index of U.S.-based manufacturers dropped to 58.7% in the final month of 2021. This was slightly lower than the 61.1% in November according to the Institute for Supply Management.

Still, any number of above 50% signals expansion. And the number is only slightly below the 60% level that signifies exceptional growth.

Ironically, it’s the virus that continues to provide a headwind. Supply chains are unwinding but not nearly fast enough to prevent material shortages. The controversy surrounding vaccine mandates is causing labor shortages.

However, there’s a strong likelihood that manufacturing stocks will have a strong year in 2022. And even if they don’t, many of these stocks pay a reliable dividend. That’s why we’ve put together this special presentation on the manufacturing stocks that will overcome current difficulties.

View the “7 Manufacturing Stocks That Will Overcome Current Difficulties”.

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