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White House, Businesses Offer Reassurances on Supply Chains and Holiday Shopping

  • White House holds roundtable discussion on supply chain issues and holiday shopping season
  • Businesses say they have taken several steps to ensure adequate inventories to meet consumer demand
  • Strategies have included diversifying supplier bases, sourcing new products, and developing closer relationships with vendors

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

President Joe Biden and leaders from several major companies held a roundtable discussion on supply chain bottlenecks and the holiday shopping season, seeking to reassure consumers that they’ll have adequate inventories as people ramp up their shopping.

Biden highlighted signs of improvements to supply chains, including a drop in the number of long-dwelling containers at the major ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in California. The White House has also approved new measures to encourage night and weekend pickups of containers to help speed the flow of goods through the ports.

  • Business leaders have taken several steps to meet supply chain challenges, including diversifying their supplier bases, sourcing new products, and working closely with vendors to develop clear forecasts and ensure that they have adequate supplies
  • Retailers also encouraged consumers to begin their holiday shopping earlier in the year, with some offering discounts as early as October
  • The White House has limited options for addressing supply chain issues, which are influenced more by private companies and overarching issues like the pandemic, though one major retail group has encouraged the Biden administration to take more short-term steps to improve the flow of goods through ports while also making long-term investments in ports
  • Some issues are likely to persist, including increased pressure from strong consumer demand and a shortage of truckers and warehouse workers

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