Biden Holds Supply Chain Meeting

US President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet Wednesday with shipping companies, some of the largest US retailers and port unions to discuss ways to tackle supply chain bottlenecks.

A number of industries are having difficulty procuring materials and shipping finished products in stores due to challenges ranging from the coronavirus pandemic, labor shortages and soaring consumer demand.

Among those taking part in the talks at the White House were representatives from Walmart, Home Depot, United Parcel Service of America Inc. (UPS), the Port of Los Angeles and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

Biden is then scheduled to make a speech on the matter.

“One of the challenges we face, as you have seen and shown on many of your networks, and reported by others – is the delay of goods arriving at our ports, to the people. We know that’s one of the bottlenecks in the supply chain,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a briefing Tuesday.

White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki.

White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki.

“So that’s what he’s going to be focusing on tomorrow, which is discussing what we’re going to do in the ports, something he’s been focusing on for months,” Psaki said of the meeting Biden will convene.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told US broadcaster CBS News that while the price hikes brought on by a combination of reduced supply and increased demand are not expected to be permanent, it will also not end in a month or two. “This is an unprecedented shock to the global economy,” Yellen said in the interview airing Tuesday. “This causes a huge shift in demand from services to goods, and it creates a huge bottleneck in the supply chain.” [uh/ab]

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