Psaki on Inflation: Have to Control COVID Globally to Fix Supply Chain, Corporations Are ‘Taking Advantage’ and ‘Jacking Up Prices’

On Thursday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “11th Hour,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that some factors in inflation are that “we need to get the pandemic under control from a global perspective in order to make sure supply chains are working as they should,” and that businesses are “taking advantage of this moment and jacking up prices for consumers.”

Psaki said, “Inflation is caused by a number of issues. And if we talk about inflation, we really mean the costs and how they’re impacting people in their everyday lives, right? So, if you look at the supply chain, we know that’s so tied to the pandemic. We’re obviously fighting the Omicron variant right now, the uptick of the Omicron variant. We know that a lot of countries around the world are fighting that. That means that while the global supply chain brings costs down in the United States, if there’s a manufacturing hub that’s shut down in Asia, in Malaysia, or China, or anywhere, that can mean we won’t get those goods, and that can mean that prices go up. So we need to get the pandemic under control from a global perspective in order to make sure supply chains are working as they should, while also getting ports going, which we’ve made a lot of progress on.”

She continued, “There are a couple of other issues, which we’ve been working on at the same time. One is one-third of the inflationary pressure is the result of cars, car prices. If you’re trying to buy a car right now, they’re expensive. A big part of that is because we’re not manufacturing enough cars in the United States. Because we don’t have enough chips here, right? We need more manufacturing capacity in the United States. So, that something that part of this bill, this competition bill, that’s moving its way through Congress, hopefully soon, is going to help solve over the long term. Cars [are] a big part of it. The — and let me just do one more piece, Mehdi, because I think you’ll like this one. This one is where businesses, big companies, like meat manufacturers and conglomerates are taking advantage of this moment and jacking up prices for consumers. So, we also have to watch that as well. These are all factors that are impacting people’s costs.”

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