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At G20 Summit, Biden Announces New Steps To Combat Supply Chain Crisis

By News Creatives Authors , in Leadership , at October 31, 2021

At a summit he hosted at Sunday’s G20 conference in Rome, President Joe Biden announced a series of steps to combat the supply chain crisis.

Biden told reporters, “Supply chain is something that most of our citizens never think twice about …During this pandemic, we’ve seen delays and backlogs of goods or automobiles or electronics.” He said the leaders were there to talk about taking action “to reduce the backlog that we’re facing.”

Biden announced the following steps:

Streamlined U.S. Stockpiling Efforts

Biden will issue an Executive Order to streamline U.S. stockpiling efforts by delegating authority to the Department of Defense to make material releases from the National Defense Stockpile—allowing a speedier response to material shortfalls within the defense industrial base.

Increased Funding to Cut Red Tape

Increased funding for two initiatives to promote international supply chain resilience among U.S. partners and allies. Both of these initiatives will improve and simplify customs and clearance procedures, reducing delays and encouraging sustainable and efficient supply chains. 

Future Multi-Stakeholder Summit

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will hold a multi-stakeholder summit next year along with their foreign counterparts. The summit will be a follow-on dialogue to establish next steps among these parties to build greater global supply chain resilience.

Hitting On Critical Themes

Thomas Goldsby is the Haslam Chair of Logistics at the University of Tennessee’s Master’s of Science in Supply Chain Management. He said, ‘’I think that President Biden hit on several critical themes, noting that government can play a key role in coordinating and facilitating, but ultimately it will be up to the various parties that make up complex global supply chains to act within the guidelines that the U.S. government and others support.

“He sounded almost professorial in noting that supply chains should be diversified, secure, transparent, and sustainable. Of course, as a professor, I mean that as a compliment in that it speaks to a long-term, holistic purview in contending with these complexities, as opposed to short-term fixes for political expediency. I detect that this administration has started to grasp the immense complexities that we are facing and that industrial overtures 40 years in the making cannot be easily reversed.

Continued Focus On Ports

Goldsby predicted that, “There will be continued, intense focus on the ports in the near term but also looking to bigger advents that will try to prevent threats to supply chain resiliency in the future. His reference to an executive order on stockpiles as well as Secretary Blinken’s comments earlier in the day on investments in semiconductor capacity suggest strategic overtures to reduce reliance on International sources for strategic inputs, namely semiconductors. Reducing reliance on unsavory sources for certain minerals could be tougher.

‘’While the U.S. has some supply of these minerals, they are very difficult to extract and refine in an economic and environmentally friendly way. The administration is also wise to speak to the continued backdrop of a pandemic that is far from over. After all, it is the pandemic that is driving unusual consumer spending habits and hampering supply chain capacities. Sadly, the ready solution of proven, safe vaccines seems to be passing us by.

‘’These are problems that can be addressed if not solved, but it involves recognizing the multitude of companies and hundreds or thousands of hands that touch a product from raw material extraction to an item on the retail shelf.,” Goldsby concluded.

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