White House press secretary Jen Psaki blamed the country’s supply chain crisis in part on Americans’ online shopping habits.
Psaki said consumers increasing their online shopping amid the COVID-19 pandemic were part of the “root cause” of the supply bottleneck when asked to deliver a “message to Americans who are always so worried about getting their Christmas presents on time ”at a press conference Wednesday at the White House. She said the issue was “a top priority” for President Joe Biden.
“So many people across the country are buying more products online,” Psaki said. “Perhaps this is partly due to the habits that developed during the pandemic when people did not leave their homes. This is partly due to the fact that we have witnessed an economic recovery that has been going on for nine months… This leads to a massive increase in volume, which is what happens in ports.
“We are addressing and attacking supply chain issues – even with the increase in volume, which is the root cause here – on all fronts,” she added. “I think what people should know is that this is a top priority. We have seen progress already. And we will continue to stay there.”
Psaki said the Biden administration was focused on speeding up the flow of goods by working with ports and railways to make sure they were fully functioning, as well as “making sure people are receiving COVID vaccines “overseas and” working with truckers and unions to make sure we have more people driving trucks. “
Staff shortages in key industries could also negatively impact the supply chain. Additionally, consumers could be affected by a recent policy change that intentionally slows down some deliveries made by the U.S. Postal Service.
The supply chain crisis has been accompanied by concerns about rising inflation rates and the impact on consumers. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell last week blamed the country’s high inflation rate on supply chain problems and predicted it would continue “probably until next year.”
The recent supply chain difficulties have not been limited to the United States, a similar situation occurring simultaneously in many parts of the world. Some economists echoed Psaki on the root cause, saying the problem was fueled by increased demand after the global economy quickly recovered from a low at the start of the pandemic.
“I think the real issue here is demand, and demand determines what this perception of shortages is even though it’s not clear to me that supplies are lower than they were in 2019, except in certain areas. things like automobiles, ”Robert Koopman, the organization’s World Trade chief economist, told Reuters. “It’s part of the cost of early recovery.”