Close cooperation with supply chain allies will “strengthen the capacity to respond to international disasters and emergencies”

US President Joe Biden has issued an executive order on the country’s most critical supply chains. In the briefing, he called for “resilient, diverse and secure supply chains to ensure our economic prosperity and national security”.

”Pandemics and other biological threats, cyber-attacks, climate shocks and extreme weather events, terrorist attacks, geopolitical and economic competition, and other conditions can reduce critical manufacturing capacity and the availability and integrity of critical goods, products, and services,” he said.

Adding that: “More resilient supply chains are secure and diverse - facilitating greater domestic production, a range of supply, built-in redundancies, adequate stockpiles, safe and secure digital networks, and a world-class American manufacturing base and workforce.”

”Close cooperation on resilient supply chains with allies and partners who share our values will foster collective economic and national security and strengthen the capacity to respond to international disasters and emergencies.”

The executive order will kickstart a 100-day review of the supply chains of four vital products— semiconductors, rare earth metals, pharmaceuticals, and large capacity electric car batteries.

It also includes a longer review of another six sectors including defence, food production, and public health. 

The order highlights the importance of mitigating all areas of risk that lay within supply chains, including the geopolitical.

“This is about making sure the United States can meet every challenge we face in this new era,” said Biden. “Pandemics, but also in defence, cybersecurity, climate change and so much more.”

The review will consider risks that may disrupt, strain, compromise, or eliminate the supply chain, including those posed by supply chains’ reliance on digital products that may be vulnerable to failures or exploitation.

Specific policy recommendations for ensuring a resilient supply chain for the sector may include:

  • Sustainably reshoring supply chains and developing domestic supplies;
  • Cooperating with allies and partners to identify alternative supply chains;
  • Building redundancy into domestic supply chains;
  • Ensuring and enlarging stockpiles;
  • Developing workforce capabilities;
  • Enhancing access to financing;
  • Expanding research and development to broaden supply chains;
  • Addressing risks due to vulnerabilities in digital products relied on by supply chains, and
  • Addressing risks posed by climate change.