President Joe Biden delivers remarks on efforts to address global supply chain bottlenecks during a Wednesday event in the East Room of the White House in Washington.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden tried to reassure Americans on Wednesday that he can tame high inflation, announcing a deal to expand operations at the Port of Los Angeles as prices keep climbing and container ships wait to dock in a traffic jam threatening the US economy and holiday shopping.

Prices are jumping in large part because container ships are stranded at ports and because unloaded goods are waiting for trucks, leading to mass shortages and delays that have caused a longer than expected bout of inflation. The rising costs are eating into worker pay, creating a drag on growth and driving Republican criticism of Biden just as his multitrillion-dollar tax, economic, climate and infrastructure agenda is going through the crucible of congressional negotiations.

The White House responded to the backlog by finalizing an agreement for the Port of Los Angeles to become a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week operation. The hope is that nighttime operations will help to break the logjam and reduce shipping delays for toasters, sneakers, bicycles, cars and more.

“With holidays coming up, you might be wondering if the gifts you plan to buy will arrive on time,” Biden said at the White House. “Today we have some good news: We’re going to help speed up the delivery of goods all across America.”

But the expansion of port operations was also an unspoken recognition that inflation is lingering at higher levels long after the economy began to reopen from the Coronavirus pandemic. Businesses were worrying about  monthslong delays for shipping containers in June, yet the administration only formed its supply chain task force that month and named a port envoy on Aug. 27 to address the challenge.

Ports are also just one piece of the puzzle, Biden said. The country needs more truck drivers, private retailers to step up and better infrastructure, as well as a supply chain that can less easily be disrupted by pandemics and extreme weather. The president is trying to use the predicament as a selling point for his policy plans that undergoing congressional scrutiny.

“We need to take a longer view and invest in building greater resiliency to withstand the kinds of shocks we’ve seen over and over, year in and year out, the risk of pandemic, extreme weather, climate change, cyberattacks, weather disruptions,” he said.

The sense of uncertainty is beginning to consume the attention of many Americans.

University of Michigan economist Betsey Stevenson noted on Twitter the “economy is in a very fragile and unprecedented place.” Prices are rising at more than 5%, trade in goods and services have slowed and more Americans are quitting their jobs while the delta variant has made the Coronavirus pandemic a risk.

Ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach account for 40% of all shipping containers entering the United States. As of Tuesday, there were 64 ships berthed at the two ports and 80 waiting to dock and unload, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

Commitments by the Los Angeles port’s operator, longshoremen and several of the country’s largest retail and shipping companies are expected to help relieve the backlog.

Walmart, FedEx, UPS, Target, Samsung and The Home Depot committed to unloading during off-peak hours, making it easier for the Los Angeles port to operate nonstop. The Long Beach port has been operating 24 hours daily for seven days for roughly the past three weeks.

(1) comment

Jimzan 2.0

Biden is a LIAR on "so" many levels, it is Hilarious. That is what happens when you put skin color over ability..."Total Failure". The Democrats are like a twelve year old with a credit card...instead of being responsible, and spending within their means...they waste money, (that has to be paid back by future generations) like there is no tomorrow. Most Dems have no children (many have gotten abortions), and are very "self centered" They do not care if they are ruining our children's future...they just want money and power, no matter what the cost to obtain it..they are ScumBags to the core. China loves Joe Biden, and the Democrats, they do not have to fire a shot at America..No one has hurt America more than the Democrats..Our Inflation is about to explode, the Fed may be able to hold back the water on the the Dam will fail, and you (and your children) will pay the price for your cowardice. Southwest Airlines did not have weather trouble...their employees staged a sick out, and the Trash Bag News media (CNN,MSNBC, NBC,ABC,and CBS) ...Lets not forget the Scum at the AP (IMHO), will never tell you the truth..they are propaganda tools with a sprinkle of news added just to keep your attention. MSM plays you like an Idiot, and you will look uniformed if CNN,MSNBC, NBC,ABC,and CBS is your only source of News...they are scum and their ratings prove that...They are a Joke for idiots and parasites (IMHO). If you have gotten a CoVid shot..then STFU and be are safe (so they say) Do not "force" your "paranoia" on others..that just makes you a POS.

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