US President Joe Biden is set to sign an executive order Wednesday to strengthen the nation’s supply chains of key goods and materials after biting shortages hobbled public health efforts and manufacturing.
The order will trigger reviews of four critical products, including computer chips, large capacity batteries, pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients, and critical minerals and strategic materials, his administration said.
Peter Harrell, Biden’s Senior Director for International Economics and Competitiveness, told reporters at the White House that the forthcoming order is designed to ensure “America’s supply chains can sustain any crisis, as well as supporting jobs across the country.”
“Our supply chains should not be vulnerable to manipulation by competitor nations,” he said. “We are going to get out of the business of reacting to supply chain crises as they arise, and get into the business of preventing future supply chain problems.”
Harrell cited mask shortages during the pandemic as well as ongoing difficulties in procuring computer chips that forced some auto manufacturers to pull workers off assembly lines.
Deputy Director of the National Economic Council Sameera Fazili said the action is going to move the “whole government” toward being able to more rapidly address supply chain shortages in the future while stressing that such an effort will also require buy in far beyond the administration.
“This is going to be broad engagement, broad conversations, that will include business, labor, local communities, academia,” she said, “This is going to be broad engagement, broad conversations, that will include business, labor, local communities, academia.”
Biden is slated to sign the order during a White House ceremony later Wednesday.
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