By Jarrett Renshaw and Trevor Hunnicutt
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House officials, struggling to ease global supply bottlenecks choking US ports, roads and railroads, have warned Americans they could face higher prices and some empty shelves during the Christmas season .
The supply crisis, due in part to the Covid-19 pandemic, not only threatens to affect US spending at a critical time, it also poses political risk for President Joe Biden.
The White House has been trying to deal with supply bottlenecks, from meat to semiconductors, and formed a task force in June that meets weekly.
American consumers, unaccustomed to empty shelves, may have to be flexible and patient, White House officials said.
“There are going to be things that people are not going to get,” a senior official told Reuters when asked about the holiday shopping.
“At the same time, a lot of these things should be possible to replace with others… I don’t think there’s a real reason to panic, but we all feel the frustration and there’s a certain need for patience to help get through for a relatively short period of time. ”
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