“We brought together business and labor leaders to solve problems and the much-predicted crisis didn’t occur. Packages are moving, gifts are being delivered and shelves are not empty,” Biden said at the White House.
The President also noted gas prices are coming down after they skyrocketed earlier this year.
“Gas prices are coming down more than 10 cents a gallon nationally. Gas prices in 21 states now are at their historic averages before the pandemic. Historic average. That’s good news for Americans hitting the road this week,” Biden said.
Despite the progress, businesses are still grappling with a shortage of truck drivers and some critical components, including computer chips, remain scarce.
The President pointed to the $230 million his administration is announcing in Port Infrastructure Development Grants, which the White House says is the only federal grant program dedicated to port infrastructure. The administration also recently announced its Trucking Action Plan to recruit and retain more truck drivers by improving the quality of the job.
“We’ve got a way to go but we’re making progress. Still top of mind for me is what is top of mind for so many families — the pinch of prices and the cost. Look, addressing these costs has been and will continue to be my top priority the entire administration,” Biden said.
The President said his massive economic and climate spending bill, which is stalled on Capitol Hill because of disagreements with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, is the “biggest weapon in our arsenal” to reduce costs for American families.
Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and Port Envoy John Porcari attended the meeting on Wednesday.
Fred Smith, CEO of FedEx; Darren Hawkins, CEO of Yellow Corp; Christopher Connor, CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities; Sonia Syngal, CEO of GAP and Dave Harrison, executive director of Fastport, also attended the meeting.
Last month, Biden held a meeting with the CEOs of a number of major retailers and grocers to discuss the holiday shopping season. Following that meeting, the President assured Americans that shelves would be stocked and that the US was “heading into the holiday…