U.S. President Biden speaks during a news conference, in Washington

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden gestures as he delivers remarks after late-night passage of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill to repair the nation's airports, roads and bridges, at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. November 6, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden on Tuesday spoke with the chief executives at Walmart, United Parcel Service , FedEx and Target to discuss speeding up deliveries and lowering prices for consumers, according to a White House 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,” the official said, without providing extensive detail.

Biden, facing political pressure over rising U.S. prices, has been organizing an effort to clear transportation bottlenecks, ease semiconductor shortages and pass spending bills that officials hope will ease long-term inflation.

The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment about their conversations with the president.

Concerns about labor and goods shortages have grown ahead of the U.S. holiday season, when travel and gift-buying normally create jobs for workers and profits for retailers.

Last month, one senior White House official told Reuters that “there will be things that people can’t get,” come Christmastime.

Experts have also said the problems, which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic closing factories and putting people out of work globally, were unlikely to be solved quickly.

The shortages have helped lift consumer prices by 5.4% over the 12 months through September, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Due to inflation, most workers’ real hourly wages sagged 0.8% over the same time frame.

Administration officials said on Tuesday that they were working to quickly put to work some of the $1 trillion infrastructure package Congress approved last week to clear backlogs at U.S. ports that have kept some goods from store shelves.

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