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The backlog is caused by numerous factors, including surges in consumer demand amid labor shortages.
Trump’s order only restricted U.S. investment in certain Chinese companies. It did not prohibit goods from China or other countries being brought to the U.S.
An Instagram post blames — or rather credits — an executive order by former President Donald Trump for the supply-chain backlog at America’s ports.
As a man speaks in a TikTok video about the backlog, this message referring to the order appears on the screen: "It all makes sense now. Think EO 13959."
The man says "basically any country that’s been caught with foreign election interference can no longer legally trade with the U.S." He goes on to say that the effect of the order is a good thing, stating:
"You’re going to go from made in China, made in Indonesia, made in Vietnam to made in the USA. And that is how you make America great again. You make America dependent on itself and not other countries. And that is what Trump is doing here."
False and misleading theories have emerged to explain why container ships are stranded at U.S. ports, unable to unload their cargo.
This latest claim about Trump’s order also fails.
The order signed by Trump on Nov. 12, 2020, is titled: "Addressing the Threat From Securities Investments That Finance Communist Chinese Military Companies."
The order prohibited Americans from investing in a group of Chinese companies the U.S. says supply and otherwise support China’s military, intelligence and security services.
Trump wrote that "the People’s Republic of China is increasingly exploiting United States capital to resource and to enable the development and modernization of its military, intelligence and other security apparatuses, which continues to allow the PRC to directly threaten the United States homeland and United
States forces overseas, including by developing and deploying weapons of mass destruction, advanced conventional weapons and malicious cyber enabled actions against the United States and its people."
The order did not bar goods from China or other countries from being brought to the U.S. It doesn’t mention election interference.
As we and other fact-checkers have reported, experts say that the backup of cargo ships, focused in Southern California, is being caused by a number of factors: shortages of truck drivers and other workers to unload increasingly larger ships; surges in buying as pandemic restrictions ease and the holidays approach; COVID-19 related issues such as COVID-19 outbreaks at factories; and a shift in consumer spending habits as folks spend more time at home.
As Jeffrey Michael, executive director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at University of the Pacific, told PolitiFact: "The ports in Southern California are actually moving record levels of containers, but they haven’t been able to keep up with increased demand."
An Instagram post claimed that cargo ships "can’t get into port" because of Donald Trump’s executive order 13959.
That 2020 order restricted certain investments in Chinese companies. It did not prohibit goods from being brought from other countries to the U.S. The backlog is caused by numerous factors, including surges in consumer demand amid labor shortages.
We rate the post False.
Instagram, post, Oct. 21, 2021
Associated Press, "Shipping backlog not related to foreign election interference," Oct. 22, 2021
Wall Street Journal, "Trump Bars Americans From Investing in Firms That Help China’s Military," Nov. 12, 2020
USA Today, "Fact check: California trucking regulations aren't to blame for cargo backlog," Oct. 18, 2021
FactCheck.org, "Posts Spread Baseless Claims About Cause of Cargo Ship Backups," Oct. 6, 2021
PolitiFact, "Image of map doesn’t show hundreds of ‘sitting’ ships waiting to dock at US ports," Oct. 13, 2021
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