Coalition Letter to Secretary Yellen on Supply Chain Issues
We, the undersigned associations, represent both public and private sector organizations that produce and use the materials, products, and equipment necessary to build America’s infrastructure and employ millions of hard-working Americans in well-paying jobs. At this critical time, as Congress has passed the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that will provide impactful infrastructure investment to the nation, we again request relief for government agencies and businesses who have and continue to face unprecedented pandemic-induced supply chain delays and shortages which only seem to be getting worse. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, price increases for steel mill products were up 22% in 2021 and up an additional 74% in 2022. Plastic construction products saw similar increases, up 7.6% in 2021 and 36% in 2022. Lead times for procurement and delivery of many of these materials has dramatically increased as well, and prospects for the rest of the year are worse. As a result, crucial infrastructure projects across the country run the risk of delay. Construction firms are going to have to pass along the rising materials prices to remain successful. Unfortunately, the lead time in bidding these projects is often so long, that they are unable to predict the availability and price of some of these materials. In addition, companies are unable to foresee things like a Russian invasion, spiking oil prices, and soaring inflation and therefore in some instances are forced to absorb these increases because there is no price escalation clause available to them. The impacts of this have been especially devastating to small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) construction firms that lack the resources to absorb these unexpected costs.