Buttigieg says supply chain troubles could last into next year

Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden's proposals spark phase 2 of supply chain crisis Biden returns restores tradition, returning to Kennedy Center Honors The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown MORE on Sunday said supply chain issues could continue into next year as many companies struggle with disruptions.

CNN's "State of the Union" host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperNine African countries reporting omicron cases amid travel bans Here's who should (and should not) replace Chris Cuomo at CNN Senate Democrat says he will 'settle' for less aggressive gun control reform 'because that will save lives' MORE noted that Moody's recently warned that supply chain issues would "get worse before they get better." He asked Buttigieg whether he agreed with that notion and if Americans should prepare for such an outcome.

"Well, certainly, a lot of the challenges that we have been experiencing this year will continue into next year," Buttigieg said. "But there are both short-term and long-term steps that we can take to do something about it. Look, part of what's happening isn't just the supply side. It's the demand side. Demand is off the charts. Retail sales are through the roof."

Buttigieg said ports are welcoming "record amounts of goods ... because demand is up, because income is up." However, he acknowledged that supply chains "can't keep up" with rising demand.

"Our role is to be an honest broker, bring together all of the different players there, secure commitments and get solutions that are going to make it easier," said Buttigieg.

Tapper asked the Transportation secretary whether President BidenJoe BidenHouse passes 8B defense policy bill House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale MORE has considered lifting the tariffs on China that former President TrumpDonald TrumpSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Crenshaw slams House Freedom Caucus members as 'grifters,' 'performance artists' Senate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection MORE had imposed as a way to address the ongoing issue.

"Well, I think every idea is being taken seriously," said Buttigieg. He said the administration is currently focusing on supply chain operations, pointing to West Coast ports that will now operate 24/7 to address supply chain bottlenecks.

Buttigieg added that a lack of available truckers was also affecting the supply chain issues and said his department was working with state motor vehicle departments to speed up the issuing of commercial driver's licenses.