- The House of Representatives launched a Congressional Supply Chain Caucus this week citing a need to focus on ongoing supply chain challenges related to manufacturing, trade, delivery, resiliency and other factors amid the current COVID-19 outbreak and moving forward, according to a letter sent to the Consumer Brands Association and shared with Supply Chain Dive on Thursday.
- The caucus will be co-chaired by Reps. Colin Allred, D-Texas; Angie Craig, D-Minn. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., and David Rouzer, R-N.C. Details of the caucus' initial meeting dates and agenda have not yet been released.
- There are a number of supply chain-related caucuses in Congress, including the Air Cargo Caucus, the Digital Trade Caucus, the House Manufacturing Caucus and the U.S. - China Working Group. The Congressional Supply Chain Caucus would seek to bring together relevant issues from the separate groups.
The new caucus will work "toward updating an outdated supply chain system and decreasing friction in the vast and complex supply chain network in America," the letter to the Consumer Brands Association reads. "Infrastructure, environment and data protection, cybersecurity, and technology enablement are the key pillars of supply chain success, but the success of each hinges on the other."
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has begun to strain supply chains in the U.S. and around the globe as production lines and shipping lanes have been throttled and thousands of employees are unable to return to work either due to medical quarantine or other precautionary measures. Major retailers such as Costco are reporting difficulty keeping key items such as hand sanitizer, bottled water and toilet paper in stock due to strained supply and high demand.
"American consumers have billions of interactions with consumer packaged goods each day. Ensuring access and affordability of these products is a complex task, made more challenging by the emergence of coronavirus," Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the Consumer Brands Association, said in a press release.
The association hopes the "caucus can unite around meaningful goals that will promote innovation in supply chain traceability and transparency," in the near future, Tom Madrecki, vice president, supply chain and logistics at the Consumer Brands Association, said in a statement emailed to Supply Chain Dive.