- President Joe Biden is creating a new cabinet-level council focused on supply chain issues, with the inaugural meeting happening today, according to the White House.
- The Council on Supply Chain Resilience will convene nearly every member of the president’s cabinet, bringing together more than a dozen of the nation’s top federal officials directly involved in industrial policy. The council will be co-chaired by the National Security Advisor and National Economic Advisor.
- The creation of the new council is one of nearly 30 actions the White House shared Monday as evidence of Biden’s focus on strengthening supply chains. The actions include funding announcements and updates on specific data and trade initiatives, among other topics.
Supply chain topics have now officially garnered a seat at the table for officials at the highest level of U.S. government, after proving themselves to be vital to the economy over the past four years.
“Robust supply chains are fundamental to a strong economy. When supply chains smooth, prices fall for goods, food, and equipment, putting more money in the pockets of American families, workers, farmers, and entrepreneurs,” the White House said in a fact sheet. “That is why President Biden made supply chain resilience a priority from Day One of his Administration.”
In addition to the new cabinet-level council, the White House also teased several other initiatives generally affecting freight, trucking and manufacturing, saying:
- The Department of Transportation would launch a new office for multimodal policy to coordinate national and state-level freight strategy, as required by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
- The president would broaden the Department of Health and Human Services’ authority under the Defense Production Act, to enable domestic manufacturing of essential medicines and their inputs.
- The Department of Energy completed $275 million in grant selections designed to bolster clean energy sectors, including manufacturing for critical minerals, grid-scale batteries and electric vehicles.
Ever since the pandemic wreaked havoc on supply chains, the Biden administration has engaged a multi-front approach to shore up industrial resilience, roping in several branches of government. Congress, for example, has passed several laws with supply chain provisions to bolster industries deemed critical to national security, such as semiconductors. Meanwhile, at the executive level, the White House has sought to create liaisons, meetings and even offices dedicated to coordinating supply chain policy across multiple agencies.
“These efforts helped unsnarl supply chains, re-normalize the flow of goods, and lower inflation,” the White House said in its fact sheet.
One such initiative was the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, which was created in 2021 to resolve supply and demand mismatches, and was led by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation and Agriculture. The new council announced today expands those efforts to also include industrial policy chiefs like the Secretaries of Commerce, Energy, Defense, and others like the U.S. Trade Representative.
Biden will deliver official remarks at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the “new actions to strengthen supply chains, lower costs for families, and help Americans get the goods they need,” according to the White House schedule.