Business

Biden said that he hasn’t seen any White House reporters ‘explain the supply-chain very well’

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden calls on reporters for questions as he speaks about the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the State Dinning Room of the White House on November 6, 2021.

  • President Joe Biden on Saturday discussed supply-chain issues after a White House speech.
  • Biden told the reporters assembled that they haven’t explained the supply chain “very well.”
  • The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have fueled congestion at US shipyards, causing major delays.

President Joe Biden on Saturday spoke enthusiastically about the US House of Representatives passing the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that would infuse billions into repairing the nation’s crumbling highways, roads, and bridges.

However, during a question-and-answer session with reporters after his speech, the president took part in a remarkable exchange where he discussed supply-chain shortages, an issue that has increasingly become a political liability for his administration.

The disruptions in the nation’s supply chain arose largely as the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the economy, which resulted in empty shelves across the country, as Americans sought to purchase as many core essentials as possible, without the normal restocking that would usually accompany such shortages.

As Insider’s Grace Kay reported last month, continued virus-mitigation measures have prevented a return of the supply chain to levels that existed before March 2020. And until that happens, the now-infamous backlogs at American ports will continue to be a major issue.

“The world economy is out of sync because parts of it were forced to go offline when the pandemic started and getting all the industry players back in line at the same time is near impossible,” former US trade negotiator Harry G. Broadman told Insider.

Biden, while going off-script with members of the press, said that Americans want to know why the cost of agricultural products are higher when they shop at grocery stores.

The president presented a hypothetical situation of eating at a restaurant and asking patrons at an adjacent table to explain the supply-chain situation.

“How do they explain the supply chain to us? Do they understand what we’re talking about? They’re smart people. Why is everything backed up? Well it’s backed up because the people who supply the materials that end up on our kitchen table … [have] closed those plants because they had COVID. It’s a complicated world that people are facing,” he said.

“You can understand why people are upset, whether you have a Ph.D. or you’re working in a restaurant. It’s confusing. People are understandably worried,” he added.

Biden then directed his supply-chain comments to the White House reporters that cover his administration each day.

“By the way, you all write for a living. I haven’t seen any of you explain the supply chain very well,” the president said, which elicited laughs.

“No, no I’m not being critical. I’m being deadly earnest,” he responded. “This is a confusing time.”

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said earlier this week that the country would have to further tackle the coronavirus pandemic in order for supply-chain issues to subside.

“Look, there are so many things that are still happening in our economy – distortions, disruptions, things in our supply chain that are affecting prices that are clearly a direct consequence of the pandemic,” he told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace. “Which is why the best thing we can do for our economy in the short term, and to deal with these transitory issues, is to put the pandemic behind us.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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