This week’s stories highlight the rising effects of the omicron variant on supply chains as well as the impacts of winter weather in the U.S.

Chinese Zero-Tolerance Covid Policy Tightens Supply Chains

New outbreaks of COVID-19 in China are putting pressure on supply chains as the government enforces its zero-tolerance pandemic policy. The city of Ningbo is again at risk with factory shutdowns, mass testing, and more. Both manufacturing and port operations are likely to see disruptions. Meanwhile, an outbreak at the city of Xian has forced flight postponements and cancellations for air cargo. These disruptions are likely to affect U.S. importers.

Biden Administration Bans Imports from Xinjiang, Eying Forced Uyghur Labor

President Joe Biden recently signed into law a bill banning imports from the Xinjiang province of China. The move aims to curb the U.S. consumption of goods produced by forced labor by the region’s minority Uyghur people. According to Forbes, the U.S. State Department formally recognized actions by the Chinese government against the Uyghur people as genocide and crimes against humanity.

Winter Weather Hampers U.S. Trucking

A variety of winter storms across the nation have impeded trucking activities. Storms in the west have caused flood risks and record-setting snowfall throughout both the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges. Meanwhile, snowfall in the East caused a 24-hour closure of a portion of I-95 in Virginia. Other severe weather has affected the Midwest and southern states.

U.S. Government Emphasizing Covid-19 Rapid Test Imports

The Port Disruptions and COVID-19 Taskforce has rolled out a plan to prioritize the importing of rapid testing kits. Recent and rapid spread of the omicron variant has produced shortages of rapid testing kits. A new plan aims to identify containers holding test kits and position them on vessels for early and rapid unloading.

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