March 1, 2021

Biden Administration To Examine Supply Chain Vulnerabilities

On February 24, President Joe Biden issued an executive order (EO) entitled, “Securing America’s Critical Supply Chains,” which directs federal agencies to carry out an immediate, 100-day review of vulnerabilities in the American supply chains.

According to a White House fact sheet, the examination is currently limited to four products: pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients; critical minerals, including rare earth minerals; semiconductors and advance packaging; and large capacity batteries.

The fact sheet explained, “Last year’s shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line healthcare workers at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic were unacceptable. Recent shortages of automotive semiconductor chips have forced slowdowns at car manufacturing plants, highlighting how shortages can hurt U.S. workers. … The United States must ensure that production shortages, trade disruptions, natural disasters and potential actions by foreign competitors and adversaries never leave the United States vulnerable again.”

This initiative could be just the beginning of multiple, similar examinations. As one analysis said, “While just a starting point, [President] Biden’s executive order hopes to eventually reduce the U.S.’ reliance on other countries across a wide swath of critical industries.