President Biden spoke with the CEOs of major U.S. retailers and logistics companies regarding ongoing efforts to address a supply chain crunch that has resulted in shipping delays and higher prices for consumers, a White House official said Tuesday.
Biden met with Walmart CEO Doug McMillion, Target CEO Brian Cornell, UPS CEO Carol Tome and FedEx CEO Fred Smith. The discussion focused on "steps that the Administration and private sector can take to further strengthen our supply chains and build on steps we’ve already taken to speed up deliveries and lower prices," according to the official.
"During the conversations, President Biden received updates from these private sector leaders on the efforts they’re taking to speed up throughput in our entire goods movement supply chain and discussed how shelves will be well-stocked this holiday season thanks to the tireless efforts of their companies, as well as the ports and workers stretching from longshoremen, to truck drivers, rail and warehouse workers, store clerks, and everyone in between," the official added.
The Biden administration is under pressure to alleviate supply chain issues amid concerns about the rising prices and heightened inflation. The backlog led White House officials to warn in recent weeks of potential product shortages during the holiday shopping season.
"Target CEO Brian Cornell shared that we are ready to deliver a great shopping experience for guests this holiday season," the company said in a statement on the meeting.
The president touted the positive impact of the newly passed bipartisan infrastructure bill during his meeting Tuesday with the CEOs, the White House official added, noting "historic levels of investment that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal provides for our ports, roads, bridges, rails, and other key components of our supply chain."
The meeting occurred weeks after Biden announced an initiative to partner with six firms — Walmart, UPS, FedEx, Samsung, Home Depot and Target — that agreed to extend their hours of operation in response to the supply chain issues. Biden also directed the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to shift to 24/7 operations to clear a cargo backlog.
Biden has urged the private sector to assist the federal government during the crisis, warning his administration was "going to call them out and ask them to act" if they did not.
Fox News' Patrick Ward contributed to this report.