U.S. President Joe Biden is due to meet Wednesday with shipping companies, some of the country’s largest retailers and port workers unions to discuss ways to address supply chain bottlenecks.
A number of industries have experienced difficulties obtaining materials and getting finished products on store shelves due to challenges from the coronavirus pandemic, labor shortages and spikes in consumer demand.
Among those taking part in Wednesday’s talks at the White House are representatives from Walmart, Home Depot, United Parcel Service of America Inc., or UPS, the Port of Los Angeles and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
Biden is then scheduled to give an address on the issue.
“One of the challenges we’re having is — as you’ve all seen and shown on many of your networks, and others have reported on — is the delay of goods getting through to our ports, enabling them to get to people in the country. We know that’s one of the bottlenecks in the supply chain,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a briefing Tuesday.
“So, that’s what he’ll focus on tomorrow, is to talk about what we’re going to do on ports — something that has been a focus of his for months now,” Psaki said ahead of Biden’s meetings.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the U.S. broadcast network CBS News that while price increases that have come with the combination of lower supply and increased demand are not expected to be permanent, they also will not go away in the next month or two.
“This is an unprecedented shock to the global economy,” Yellen said in an interview broadcast Tuesday. “It’s led to a huge shift in demand away from services toward goods, and it’s created huge bottlenecks in supply chains.”
Some information for this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.