“If you’ve looked at the news recently, you might think that the shelves at all of our stores across the country are empty, that parents won’t be able to give their kids gifts this holiday season,” Biden said. “But here’s the deal: for the vast majority of the country, that’s not what’s happening. “
The president praised the steps his administration has taken to speed up operations and extend the hours of operation of major southern California ports, as well as to facilitate the movement of goods more quickly.
Overall, Biden said “shelves are going to be stocked” and the United States “is heading into the holiday season in really good shape.”
Biden said CEOs he met earlier this week “said their stocks were up, shelves were well stocked, and they were ready to meet consumer demand for the holidays.” The President hosted a White House roundtable with executives from Best Buy, Food Lion, Etsy, Walmart, Mattel, Samsung, CVS Health and others.
“Over the past month, the number of containers left on the docks blocking traffic to these stores lasted more than eight days. Now it’s down 40%, which means they’re heading to store shelves faster, ”Biden said. “It’s an incredible success story. “
The president also addressed the rise in consumer prices that frustrates Americans across the country and said his administration had “used all available tools” to solve the problem. The White House faces increasing pressure to bring down skyrocketing prices at the pump, contributing to the biggest rise in inflation in decades.
“This is a global challenge, a natural by-product of the global economy halted by the pandemic as it comes to life,” Biden said, pointing to other countries like the UK and Canada who have the same problem.
The President said: “The prices are still not in sync as the world comes back. But as we continue to overcome these barriers, the more the pricing pressures will ease. “
He said that the release of emergency oil reserves by the United States, which is being carried out in coordination with several other major countries, “will not solve the high gas prices overnight, but it has made a difference. “.
Over the past month, he said, “probably in part because of the anticipation of this action, we have seen the price of oil and gasoline in wholesale markets drop significantly.”
“In fact, since the end of October, the average weekly gasoline price in the wholesale market has fallen by about 10%. That’s a drop of 25 cents a gallon. These savings are expected to reach the American people very soon, and it can. It just doesn’t happen fast enough, ”Biden said.
The Department of Energy will release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Oil Reserve – the largest release from the reserve in U.S. history, Biden said. This is done in coordination with several other countries, including China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom.
This story has been updated with additional information.