President Joe Biden’s administration admitted in a Tuesday press call that its policies are at least partially to blame for the chaos currently overtaking U.S. supply chains, according to the New York Times.
The Biden administration has worked frantically in recent weeks to stave off mounting backlogs in U.S. supply chains. The White House warned Tuesday that American consumers should expect higher prices and even some empty shelves come Christmastime. Biden came to an agreement with the Port of Los Angeles, Walmart, FedEx and other major companies to expand hours of operation to relieve stress on supply lines. (RELATED: ‘It’s Unprecedented’: Builders Running Out Of Key Construction Materials, Forced To Find Alternatives)
While the administration has taken numerous actions to combat the supply chain chaos, it did admit some level of complicity during a press call. Senior administration officials told reporters that the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan likely contributed to the supply chain tension thanks to its increasing demand for goods, the NYT reported. The officials went on to argue that the rescue plan nevertheless boosted the U.S. economic recovery beyond that of other nations.
The Port of Los Angeles is the second California port to adopt 24/7 operations in recent weeks, with the Port of Long Beach adopting the same work schedule in September.
Administration officials warned Americans on Tuesday that Americans are likely to see empty shelves during their holiday shopping later this year.
“There will be things that people can’t get,” a senior White House official told Reuters on Tuesday. “At the same time, a lot of these goods are hopefully substitutable by other things. … I don’t think there’s any real reason to be panicked, but we all feel the frustration and there’s a certain need for patience to help get through a relatively short period of time.”
A Sept. 29 study from Salesforce predicted that retail prices could rise as much as 20% compared to 2020. Women’s clothing, jewelry and watches had already risen 11.9% and 12.9% respectively as of August.
Biden has sought to push back on the economic woes not only by urging major corporations to operate for longer hours, but also by lifting travel restrictions for America’s borders with Mexico and Canada. The policy change requires all foreign nationals to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to cross the border, however.