Biden speaks with Walmart, UPS, Target, and other CEOs about supply issues

US President Joe Biden gestures as he delivers remarks after the late-night passage of a $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill to fix the nation’s airports, roads and bridges , at the White House in Washington, DC, United States, on November 6, 2021. REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden spoke on Tuesday with the CEOs of Walmart Inc (WMT.N), United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N), FedEx Corp (FDX.N) and Target Corp (TGT .N) to discuss speeding up shipments and lowering prices for consumers.

Biden took to Twitter to say he understood concerns about supply chain bottlenecks and the potential impact on Americans as they prepare for the holiday season. He said he spoke to executives and they were confident people will be able to get the items they want in the coming weeks.

“You’re going to be able to go to the store, go to the outlets you’re looking for, get the products you need, the gifts you want. That’s what we’ve been working on,” Biden said in the vicinity. . 90-second video posted on Twitter.

Biden, facing political pressure from rising prices in the United States, staged an effort to remove transportation bottlenecks, alleviate semiconductor shortages, and pass a spending bill that, officials say will moderate inflation in the long run.

“Target CEO Brian Cornell said we are poised to provide a great shopping experience for customers this holiday season,” the company said in a statement, adding that its inventory levels were well above those of last year and handled more containers overnight.

The other companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment on their conversations with the president.

Concerns about labor and asset shortages have grown ahead of the US holiday season, when travel and gift shopping normally creates jobs for workers and profits for retailers.

Last month, a senior White House official told Reuters that “there will be things people cannot get” at Christmas.

Experts also said the problems, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, closing factories and putting people out of work around the world, are unlikely to be resolved quickly.

The shortages helped push consumer prices up 5.4% in the 12 months to September, according to the US Department of Labor. Due to inflation, real hourly wages for most workers fell 0.8% over the same period.

Administration officials said on Tuesday they were working to swiftly implement some of the provisions of the $ 1 trillion infrastructure package that Congress approved last week to clear backlogs at U.S. ports which kept some goods off the shelves of stores.

Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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