Biden to Visit Illinois Farm to Highlight Russia-Driven Spike in Food Prices

President Joe Biden answers questions from the news media after delivering remarks on administration plans to fight inflation and lower costs, during a speech in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building’s South Court Auditorium at the White House, Tuesday. (REUTERS/Leah Millis)

(Reuters) – President Joe Biden will seek to highlight how Russia’s war on Ukraine has impacted global food prices during a visit to a family farm in Illinois on Wednesday.

The visit comes as the White House is struggling to rein in inflation on many fronts, from gasoline to food. U.S. gas prices hit record highs on Tuesday, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February – which Moscow calls “a special operation” – dramatically worsened the outlook for food prices.

The U.N. food agency recently said food prices hit an all-time record in February and again in March. Russia and Ukraine account for nearly a third of global wheat and barley, and two-thirds of the world’s exports of sunflower oil used for cooking.

“He’s going to talk about the support we need to continue to give to farmers to help continue to produce more and more domestically to help address the food shortages that we’re seeing in some parts of the world,” White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Tuesday.

Biden will also speak at the 40th International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International Convention. The convention was originally scheduled for last August and delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biden is expected to speak about his support for unions, infrastructure investments and the energy industry, Psaki said.

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