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Supply Chain Disruptions Likely to Worsen

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Jan. 20, 2022—Companies are bracing for another round of potentially debilitating supply chain disruptions as China, home to about a third of global manufacturing, imposes sweeping lockdowns in an attempt to keep the Omicron variant at bay, The New York Times reported. 

The country’s zero-tolerance policy has manufacturers — already on edge from spending the past two years dealing with crippling supply chain woes — worried about another round of shutdowns at Chinese factories and ports. Additional disruptions to the global supply chain would come at a particularly fraught moment for companies, which are struggling with rising prices for raw materials and shipping along with extended delivery times and worker shortages.

The measures have already confined tens of millions of people to their homes in several Chinese cities, according to the report. Four of China’s largest port cities — Shanghai, Dalian, Tianjin and Shenzhen — have imposed narrowly targeted lockdowns to try to control small outbreaks of the Omicron variant. As of this weekend, these cities had not locked down their docks. Still, Volkswagen and Toyota announced last week that they would temporarily suspend operations in Tianjin because of lockdowns.

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