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President Joe Biden tells farmers he's working to expand food production, lower costs

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President Joe Biden tells farmers he's working to expand food production, lower costs
The Labor Department said Wednesday that consumer prices rose by 0.3% during the month of April -- slightly more than most economists projected. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

May 11 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden on Wednesday visited a farm in Kankakee, Ill., where he spoke on the impact of Russia's war on Ukraine and efforts to lower food prices in the face of rising inflation.

"America's fighting on two fronts. At home, it's inflation and rising prices. Abroad, it's helping Ukrainians defending their democracy," Biden said. "Putin's war has cut off critical sources of food."

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Biden said efforts will made at the upcoming G7 meeting to both provide food to the world that the war in Ukraine is preventing from getting to market -- and to lower prices.

"They're going to see what action we can take to increase fertilizer supplies globally and identify how we can work together to prevent export restrictions on food and bring more global production to market, which will stabilize prices [and] bring more certainty to our farmers and keep people from dying of hunger," Biden said.

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Biden said his administration has been working to "drive down the costs to farmers and prices to consumers," adding that the market has been distorted by lack of competition, and that increases prices.

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"As big companies made massive profits, you see prices at the grocery store have gone up and the prices farmers receive have gone down," Biden said. "Capitalism without competition is not capitalism. It's exploitation."

Biden said Ukraine has 20 million tons of grain in silos, but Russia is preventing the grain from getting to market, adding that American agricultural exports can help make up the shortfall in grain exports from Ukraine.

"[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."

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
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Later Wednesday afternoon, the president was to 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.

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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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Press Secretary Jen Psaki conducts her final briefing as White House press secretary in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room on Friday. Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI | License Photo

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