The White House said Friday that the U.S. has offered to help Egypt in its ongoing efforts to free a massive cargo ship stuck in the Suez Canal.
“We are tracking the situation very closely,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, noting that the blockage appears to be taking a toll on energy markets.
“As part of our active diplomatic dialogue with Egypt, we’ve offered U.S. assistance to Egyptian authorities to help reopen the canal,” Psaki said.
“We are consulting with our Egyptian partners about how we can best support their efforts. So those conversations are ongoing and hopefully we’ll have more to say about that soon,” she said.
The Ever Given, one of the world’s largest shipping vessels, has blocked all traffic along the critical trade route since running aground more than three days earlier.
At about 400 meters in length, the ship is nearly as long as the Empire State Building is high.
Some fear it could take weeks to clear the canal, which handles around 12% of global trade. That prospect is starting to impact the economy and disrupt international supply chains.
“We do see some potential impacts on energy markets from the role of the Suez Canal as a key bidirectional transit route for oil, and obviously that’s one of the reasons we offered assistance from the United States,” Psaki said Friday.
“We are in close consultation with the Egyptians about that,” Psaki said, adding, “We’re going to continue to monitor market conditions and we will respond appropriately if necessary, but it is something we’re watching closely.”