Biden Says US Recession Not Inevitable, But Acknowledges Economic Suffering

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Tokyo (WABNEWS) — President Joe Biden said Monday that he believes a recession in the United States is not inevitable, but he acknowledged the economic pain Americans are feeling amid high inflation, supply chain shortages and the geopolitical earthquake caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The president argued that the United States has made “significant progress” in its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, which he said has put the country in a better position than other countries around the world struggling with the same problems. But he predicted it will take time to fully recover, saying, “This is going to be a tour. This is going to take some time.”

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“Our GDP is going to grow faster than China’s for the first time in 40 years. Does that mean we don’t have problems? We do. We have problems that the rest of the world has, but less consequential than the rest of the world because of our internal growth and our strength,” Biden said at a news conference in Tokyo.

The president pointed to Hyundai’s recent announcement to build its first electric vehicle and battery manufacturing plant in the United States as evidence of economic progress. Biden also praised Samsung’s decision to build a $17 billion semiconductor manufacturing plant in Texas as part of efforts to tackle a global chip shortage that has hurt American manufacturing.

“When it comes to gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that, God willing, when it’s over we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over,” Biden said.

“It’s bad. The price of gas at the pump … would be a big topic of discussion at my kitchen table when I was a kid. It’s affecting a lot of families,” Biden acknowledged.

The United States is releasing 180 million barrels of oil from emergency reserves, but experts are skeptical the move will have a big enough impact on prices.

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The president also said he was considering removing Trump-era tariffs on Chinese goods, which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said impose more harm than good on American consumers and businesses.

“I’m going to talk to the secretary when we get home. I’m considering it. We haven’t imposed any of those tariffs. They were imposed by the last administration and they are being considered,” Biden told reporters.

The news conference in Tokyo took place during Biden’s first trip to Asia since he became president.

Biden unveiled on Monday his economic plan to counter China in Asia, which is one of the centerpieces of Biden’s visit to the continent. The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework is Biden’s attempt to engage with a region that is increasingly under Chinese influence.

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