Biden heads to Illinois to unveil new steps to aid farmers, lower food prices


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President Joe Biden left Washington, D.C., on Wednesday for a trip to Illinois, where he will elaborate on new steps to lower food prices in the face of rising inflation.

Biden left the White House Wednesday morning for the Chicago area and will visit a farm in Kankakee, which is located about 50 miles south of downtown Chicago.

In Kankakee, the president will talk about the impact of the Russian war in Ukraine on food prices in the United States. There, the White House said he will unveil new actions and tools to boost local food production.

Biden will speak publicly about the new efforts at 2:15 p.m. EDT, according to the president’s schedule.

“[Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine has cut off a critical source of wheat, corn, barley, oilseeds and cooking oil,” the White House said in a statement earlier Wednesday. “It has also disrupted global supply chains for fertilizer, which farmers depend on to maximize yields.

“These and other actions, combined with the ongoing pandemic-related disruptions to global supply chains, have put pressure on food prices, with global food prices increasing nearly 13% following Putin’s invasion.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that on his visit, Biden will expand on federal help to aid local farmers in meeting growing demand for food.

Analysts have said that the fighting in Ukraine has disrupted global food supplies.

According to the Labor Department, food prices in the U.S. rose by 0.9% during the month of April, which is similar to the growth seen in January, February and March. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI

“We know that U.S. agricultural exports can help address that and can play an important role,” Psaki told reporters at a briefing on Tuesday.

“Just as we are providing weapons, we are going to work on doing more [of what] we can to support farmers to provide more wheat and other food around the world.”

Biden said on Tuesday that increases in domestic food production would also help stem inflation and and bring prices down.

Later Wednesday afternoon, the president will travel to Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center to speak at a gathering of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He will complete the trip at a Democratic fundraiser before returning to Washington.

Earlier Wednesday, the Labor Department said that consumer prices rose by 0.3% during the month of April — slightly more than most economists projected. In particular, the report said that food prices increased almost 1% last month.

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