WH outlines steps taken to maintain economic stability in the face of global challenges

At the White House press briefing Tuesday, Yahoo News' senior White House correspondent asked Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, about the global economic challenges faced by the U.S. and about how Americans feel about the state of the economy.

Video Transcript

- Brian, I'm sure you saw the chief economist at the IMF said that the global outlook had darkened significantly since April. And I think he said that the world was teetering on the edge of a global recession. So if that were to happen, wouldn't the shock waves reverberate? And sort of even if we're in a stable position right now, wouldn't that sort of affect us as well?

And then just to go back to what Peter asked, I don't want to reiterate this question, but-- I mean, I don't want to repeat it. But for some reason, people are very gloomy about the state of the economy. And I wonder if you could just think through why the data you presented, the reassurances you have made seem to-- are being challenged from left and right alike?

BRIAN DEESE: So on your first question, look, there's no question that the global economy right now faces a set of very serious historic challenges and real and elevated risks. A lot of that is emanating the second and third-order impacts of the war in Ukraine and its impact on supply and its impact on energy markets. But we are also still dealing with the impact of COVID, which is affecting different parts of the world. And we know, having lived through this pandemic, that our supply chains are not yet resilient enough to be unaffected by those shocks as well.

So those risks, in the global context, are real, and it's part of why you see the president putting the priority that he has on working to maintain a strong, unified global coalition on things like the war in Ukraine, working proactively on issues like a price cap on Russian oil to try to get ahead of future challenges in the market, working diplomatically around issues of food security, and trying to do what we can to address the very serious challenges of food security internationally.

And certainly, we are attentive to those risks internationally and the impact they have on the US economy. I think the thing that I would say in the face of those real risks is that the United States is in a stronger position to actually train our focus on tackling inflation than virtually any other country. And you see that not only in the indicators that we've talked about today. You see that, for example, on the strength of our currency.

- Right. Do you think we're stronger than the euro bloc, in aggregate, in terms of weathering a recessionary shock?

BRIAN DEESE: Well, look, I think that our economy is more resilient to the types of challenges that we faced. For example, with respect to food, we're a net exporter of agricultural commodities. And obviously, the high prices are hitting Americans very hard in a way that is different from some places that are facing famine, for example.

But I think if you look at the sort of core elements of economic resilience, the United States is better positioned, which is not to suggest-- and I think it goes to the second point. The challenges that American families are facing and the concerns that they have about the cost of food, the cost of gas, the challenges of supply chains that are still not fixed so that things don't work the way that they always have, we understand, the president certainly understands, those challenges are real, and they're affecting people in their daily lives.

So our goal and our focus is not to try to ignore them. In fact, it's the opposite. You have a president who is saying those are the key challenges that I'm trying to wake up every day to try to improve. There's a lot of things he can do on his own. And in places where he can, you've seen some real progress.

There's places where he needs help from Congress as well. But we're seeing some real progress on there as well. This vote on the CHIPS Act today is historic. And hopefully, we'll be in a situation to sign that into law and start having the impact of that happen in real time. Hopefully, we'll be able to make some progress on big, significant issues like prescription drugs here in the coming days.

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