Saturday, December 3, 2022

Biden orders review of critical US supply chains

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President Joe Biden will issue an executive order requiring the government to review critical supply chains, with the aim of ensuring that the United States does not depend too much on other countries, including China, for technology and materials.

Three people familiar with the order, including a senior U.S. official, said it would demand the government to conduct a thorough review of U.S. supply chains. Agencies should look at procurement, in addition to essential technologies and materials in private sector supply chains.

The move follows Mr. Biden’s commitment during the presidential race to tackle both vulnerabilities in the United States. medical supply chains that have been exposed by the pandemic as well as a wide range of technologies and materials used in manufacturing that are important to the U.S. industrial base, including for military purposes.

“We are simply planning to implement the commitment he campaigned to take a full look at vulnerabilities in the US supply chain, ”said the senior US official, who stressed that the order was not specifically targeting China or any particular country.

The official said the administration would follow the recommendations of various agencies “to develop proactive measures to reduce supply chain vulnerabilities, not just for government procurement.” . . but to really look through supply chains, largely including the private sector ”.

He added that the administration would work with US allies to try to reduce some of the current vulnerabilities in US supply chains.

“There are many opportunities to work with allies and partners on supply chain issues. But we are also obviously thinking about ways in which we can build our own national resilience and increase our capacities, ”he added.

A former official familiar with the debate within the administration said the order would give the agencies a year to make classified, non-secret recommendations on what steps to take.

But the senior official said the government would not wait until the end of this period and would implement the recommendations as they are made and after assessment by the National Security Council and the National Economic Council of the White House.

While the decree should not name China – or name the country – it comes as U.S. government agencies pay far more attention to China’s national security and economic threats.

The former official said a draft decree did not specifically mention China but spoke of “competition between the great powers”.

Some Biden officials said Donald Trump was right to take a tougher line on China, but his chaotic approach to policymaking and dismissive stance towards US allies had been against it. -productive.

The US official said the Biden administration wanted to take a less “ad hoc” approach but would look into some of the studies in government that have already been done – including rare earth, other critical minerals and semiconductors – as it has developed its own set of policies to address supply chain gaps and vulnerabilities.

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