Arising from revelations during the pandemic about how dependent the U.S. is on foreign imports, President Biden issued an Executive Order to study supply chain security in four major industries.
The President ordered a 100-day review of dependency on foreign sources of materials used in making: computer chips for consumer products; large-capacity batteries for electric vehicles; pharmaceuticals and their active ingredients; and critical minerals (including rare earth elements) that are used in electronics.
A separate one-year review will take a close look at supply chains used in defense industries, public health and biological preparedness, information and communications technology (ICT), energy sector, transportation, and the production of agricultural commodities and food products.
When he issued the order, Biden noted that this is one issue where both Repoublicans and Democrats are “on the same page” – something exceedingly rare in Washington these days.
“The bottom line is simple: The American people should never face shortages in the goods and services they rely on, whether that’s their car or their prescription medicines or the food at the local grocery store,” the President declared.
The goal is to identify material and manufacturing inputs of each supply chain, assess their vulnerability to disruption, and develop policy recommendations to ensure their resilience.
Policy recommendations could include reshoring and development of domestic supplies, developing workforce capabilities, expanding research and development, enlarging stockpiles, and working with allies to identify alternative supply chains.
During the pandemic, concerns were raised about U.S. dependence on foriegn countries – most notably China – for raw materials and finshed products, including drugs and medical supplies, protective gear and equipment, all of which were found to be in short supply early on.