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A barge travels past the Wangting Power Plant in Wangting, China, on Sept. 30. Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

China’s energy crisis shows no signs of slowing, and it’s poised to impact the flow of goods that the nation sends stateside.

Why it matters: Supply chain disruptions are a huge part of what’s holding back the world’s economic growth as it recovers from the pandemic lockdown era. Electricity blackouts in China spawned by a power shortage could make that worse.

Details: Key suppliers to tech giants like Apple, Tesla, Microsoft, HP and Dell have been forced to cease or reduce operations, the FT reports.

  • Suppliers to U.S.-based makers of consumer products like water bottles and backpacks also face caps on their power usage, the WSJ writes.
  • Food costs will probably rise, too. Agricultural processing plants have had to go dark, according to Bloomberg.

The bottom line: Global markets may be in for a further supply shock, which could add to inflation, Nomura chief China economist Ting Lu wrote in a research note, according to the WSJ report.

Go deeper

FTC launches supply chain disruption study

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: An Rong Xu/Washington Post via Getty Images

The Federal Trade Commission announced Monday it is launching a study into supply chain disruptions across the country.

Why it matters: As FTC Chair, Lina M. Khan is fiercely focused on competition issues and how they impact consumers. Issuing this inquiry makes it clear she is seeking to illuminate how competition may factor into the supply chain.

What's happening: The FTC is sending inquiries to Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Associated Wholesale Grocers, McLane Co., Procter & Gamble, Tyson Foods and Kraft Heinz.

  • The inquiries, due 45 days from the date received, ask the companies to give information on factors disrupting the ability to ship products, the impact on prices, which suppliers are most affected, what is being done to alleviate disruptions and other issues.
  • The FTC is using Section 6(b) of the FTC Act, which allows the agency to conduct studies and gather information about business practices without a specific law enforcement purpose.
  • The move comes as supply chain disruptions get attention from the Biden White House and retailers struggle to fulfill orders ahead of the holiday season due to global strains and shortages of workers.

What they're saying: "I am hopeful the FTC’s new 6(b) study will shed light on market conditions and business practices that may have worsened these disruptions or led to asymmetric effects," Khan said in a release.

Biden's pick to lead major banking regulator drops out

Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, at a confirmation hearing on Nov. 18. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden's pick to head one of the country's most powerful banking regulators is dropping out of consideration for the post, according to a statement from Biden that accepted the withdrawal.

Why it matters: Saule Omarova, nominated to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, faced a tough path to confirmation — with opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

Judge temporarily blocks Biden vaccine mandate for federal contractors

Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked President Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide.

Why it matters: It's the latest setback in the Biden administration's rollout of COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Federal judges in two states temporarily barred the administration from enforcing mandates for millions of workers last week.