On June 8, 2021, the White House released its report analyzing the risks associated with supply chains for four key U.S. sectors – semiconductor manufacturing and advanced packaging; large capacity batteries; critical minerals and materials; and pharmaceuticals and advanced pharmaceutical ingredients. The report, Building Resilient Supply Chains, Revitalizing American Manufacturing, and Fostering Broad-Based Growth, was prompted by Executive Order 14017, in which President Joseph Biden directed the U.S. government to undertake a comprehensive review of critical U.S. supply chains to identify risks, address vulnerabilities and develop a strategy to promote resilience. See Update of February 25, 2021.
The report found five key “inter-related” themes and findings that have contributed to U.S. supply chain vulnerabilities: (1) insufficient U.S. manufacturing capacity; (2) misaligned incentives and short-termism in private markets that focus on short-term capital returns and not on long-term investment and resilience; (3) industrial policies adopted by allied, partner and competitor nations that advance their own competitiveness; (4) geographical concentration in global sourcing; and, (5) limited international coordination on supply chain security.
As initial steps and realizing that a “whole-of-government effort” is required to strengthen domestic competitiveness and supply chain resilience, the Biden administration will immediately:
- Support domestic production of critical medicines by having the Department of Health and Human Services work and build on public-private partnerships for the onshore (domestic) production of essential medicine products.
- Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries with the Department of Energy releasing a “National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries” for a 10-year plan to develop a domestic supply chain and offering loans through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.
- Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and the processing of critical minerals by having the Department of Interior establish a working group to identify sites where critical minerals could be produced and processed in the United States, and as necessary, to identify gaps and or provide updates to mining statutes and regulations.
- Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages identified by the Department of Commerce and to strengthen engagement with allies and partners to promote fair semiconductor chip allocations, increase production, and promote increased investment.
A summary of the report and its key findings is available here. The report also acknowledges that strengthening international trade rules and trade enforcement mechanisms are issues to be addressed. The Biden administration also announced that it will establish a new Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to provide the “whole-of-government response” needed to address near-term supply chain challenges to the economic recovery. This task force will focus on areas where “a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident: homebuilding and construction, semiconductors, transportation, and agriculture and food.”
The second phase of this supply chain review continues as to six critical industrial base sectors: the defense industrial base, public health and biological preparedness industrial base, information and communications technology industrial base, energy sector industrial base, transportation industrial base, and supply chains for production of agricultural commodities and food products. This report is due to President Biden no later than February 24, 2022.