President Joe Biden has signed a supply chain executive order that affects a broad range of materials, including pharmaceuticals.
The order mandates a 100-day review of four vital products: semiconductors; key minerals and materials, like rare earths, that are used to make steel for airplanes; pharmaceuticals and their ingredients; and advanced batteries, like the ones used in electric vehicles.
A chip shortage is squeezing automakers in the U.S. and worldwide, according to The Wall Street Journal. Cars use chips for numerous systems, including engine management, automatic braking and assisted driving.
Biden is also calling for a one-year review of other supplies in six sectors of the economy, including food production, to identify policy recommendations.
WHY THIS MATTERS
The COVID-19 pandemic showed how much the United States relies on countries such as China for personal protective equipment.
“That’s why one of the first executive orders I signed, as some may remember, was to ensure that we’re manufacturing more protective equipment for healthcare workers here at home,” Biden said. “And today, I’m shortly going to be signing another executive order that’ll help address the vulnerabilities in our supply chains across additional critical sectors of our economy so that the American people are prepared to withstand any crisis and rely on ourselves.”
THE LARGER TREND
A more resilient supply chain is secure and diverse, building in redundancies, adequate stockpiles, safe and secure digital networks, and a world-class American manufacturing base and workforce, the president said.
Biden also said a resilient supply chain relies on close cooperation with allies and partners.
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