Psaki: ‘We’ve Been Talking About Issues in the Global Supply Chain Since January’

By Melanie Arter | October 8, 2021 | 5:11pm EDT
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, on October 6, 2021. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, on October 6, 2021. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - The White House said Friday that it’s been aware of potential supply chain issues since January, and it has formed a task force to address it.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration has even appointed a ports envoy to address transportation bottlenecks on ports.

“First on the economy, there are a half a million containers floating off the California coast with nowhere to go, major issues in the global supply chain right now. The vice president warned that this could happen in August, so why wasn’t more done to prepare?” Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy asked Psaki.

PSAKI: For the global supply chain issues?

DOOCY: Yeah, she was talking in August about if you want to have your Christmas toys for your children, now might be the time to start buying them, because delays could be many, many months.

PSAKI: I asked that, because we’ve been talking about the issues in the global supply chain since January, and the president has not only put in place a task force, but we have taken a range of steps to work to address. Now, it’s not just about ensuring that we are having different companies speak to each other. We’ve certainly done that. We’ve been a forum for hosting different industry leaders to see what we can--- what we can reduce in terms of red tape in the process.

One of the biggest issues in terms of the global supply chain is also COVID and the fact that COVID continues to be a threat to supply chains that are happening globally, so we’ve also worked to be the by far and away the largest provider of vaccines, know-how, manufacturing capacity to the world, so we’ve not only been talking about this since January, we’ve been working to put in place a range of steps to help address the challenges in the supply chains.

DOOCY: As we understand it, it’s not just COVID. There are also labor shortages and issues with shipping lines here, over ground shipping lines here in the U.S. Is the president satisfied that his task force is doing a good job?

PSAKI: The president recognizes that there are several-- several layers of the challenge here that contribute to the bottleneck, and on ports and transportation bottlenecks specifically, we appointed, the president appointed a White House Ports Envoy this summer John Porcari to work with Secretary Buttigieg and bring stakeholders, labor, private industry together to help solve the global transportation supply problems. 

The fact that he designated and appointed someone at that level with a range of vast experience shows this is a part of the issue we’re absolutely focused on. We’re also focused as as I noted on the work of the supply chain task force, also the semiconductor shortage, which has been an issue that has impacted a range of industries, and we’re working to attack the challenges in the global supply chain at every point they are in the bottleneck.
 

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