Supply Chain Issues May Persist Even Though Pandemic Is Largely Over

( – While many believe that supply chain shortages were a problem specific to the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have nevertheless persisted in the years following 2020, and may very well continue in the future.

The pandemic affected nearly every aspect of America’s supply chains that are vital to delivering crucial goods needed for everyday tasks to Americans. During the pandemic, for instance, Americans dealt with barren grocery store shelves, as many began to hoard crucial supplies such as toilet paper due to mass panic about the state of the world, leaving others to do without.

KPMG, a multinational accounting company, projects these supply chain issues to persist into 2023 and possibly 2024. However, the pandemic is no longer the only challenge to supply chains. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in the freezing of a crucial grain deal that previously allowed Ukrainian freighters to export grain using the Black Sea.

However, since both countries are at war, with Russia having near-undisputed naval dominance over the Black Sea, Ukrainian grain shipments are not able to travel without being seized, or even attacked by Russian naval forces. Russian President Vladimir Putin has refused to renew the grain deal and is accusing the West of not honoring an adjacent deal that would have allowed Russia to export its own grain. The Russian president has since demanded that the West honor those terms before the deal is resumed. Many Western countries, however, have dismissed Putin’s argument as merely a power play to advance his own interests.

Other problems, such as inflationary pressures or other geopolitical conflicts will also most likely affect supply chains. Growing tensions between the U.S. and China, for instance, have been known to affect trade between the two economic giants. Tensions may also get worse, as China has vowed to annex the island nation of Taiwan within the next decade, and President Joe Biden has vowed to defend Taiwan militarily if necessary, potentially sparking a conflict between the two countries.

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