President Joe Biden understands the frustrations Americans are feeling over increased prices at grocery stores and gas pumps, but the world’s supply chain has been severely impacted by Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine which began on February 28th. In the President’s view, the country is still well-positioned to overcome the worst inflation in more than 40 years.
While unemployment is at a record 50-year low, the Labor Department reported Friday that consumer prices climbed 8.6% in May from a year ago at the same time. That’s the worst reading since December 1981 and a troubling sign for the economy as rate hikes by the Federal Reserve have yet to tamp down inflation as gasoline costs are surging upward. “My administration is going to continue to do everything we can to lower the prices for the American people,” the President said on Friday from the Port of Los Angeles, which moved to round-the-clock operations last October under an agreement that the White House helped create to clear the backlogs of ships waiting to dock and containers waiting to flow into the country, a logjam that was pumping up prices as the world began to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The Port is now moving out a record 200,000 containers on a rolling 30-day average.
The forces driving inflation have largely shifted to rising energy and food costs in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. There has also been a broader increase in prices that go beyond supply chain issues. Housing, airfare, and medical services expenses rose significantly in May. The President also blamed corporate profits for inflation, saying that some companies, including shipping firms and the oil industry, are focused on maximizing profits. He specifically targeted ExxonMobil for not doing more to increase oil production. “Exxon made more money than God this year,” the President said.
"We've never seen anything like Putin's tax on both food and gas," Pres. Biden says about inflation.
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) June 10, 2022
The Biden administration is seeking to further reduce shipping prices with a bipartisan bill that the House could pass as soon as next week. The bill would give the Federal Maritime Commission tools to make ocean-based trade more efficient and price competitive, improving the flow of exports and imports.
"Exxon made more money than God this year."🔥
— Climate Power (@ClimatePower) June 10, 2022