Business, Feature, Freight News, Logistics

Preventing US Supply Chain Disruptions

[ June 19, 2024   //   ]

A bipartisan U.S. Senate bill would create a government-wide approach to monitoring, tracking and strengthening U.S. supply chains.
The Promoting Resilient Supply Chains Act, introduced by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), a senior committee member, would help anticipate and address future supply chain disruptions before they happen, identify opportunities to grow manufacturing capacity and jobs here at home and reduce costs for U.S. consumers.
“One supply chain shock can disrupt the entire system, driving shortages and raising costs,” Cantwell said. “Our legislation will get the government, businesses and manufacturers working together to identify gaps and build capacity to prevent supply chain disruptions before they happen. It will strengthen American manufacturing jobs, keep our store shelves stocked and lower costs for American families.”
The U.S. faced several supply chain disruptions during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, from a global chip shortage that skyrocketed used car prices to an ocean shipping backlog that made it harder for U.S. consumers to find products on store shelves and exporters to get goods to international markets. These disruptions put pressure on the U.S. economy and raise costs for working families.
Cantwell and Blackburn say the legislation would provide a more robust understanding the U.S. supply chain, and evaluate U.S. manufacturers’ capacity across critical industries, including emerging technologies, proactively identify and address disruptions before they happen and help keep U.S. industries competitive globally.
“Strengthening supply chains is essential to ensuring that groceries, fuel, household products, and every other consumer product is accessible and affordable,” said Senator Blackburn.
“To achieve a strong, resilient, supply chain, we must have a coordinated, national strategy that decreases dependence on our adversaries, like Communist China, and leverages American ingenuity,” Blackburn said. Establishing a supply chain resiliency program at Commerce will help the U.S. government better coordinate with private sector partners, identify risks, and increase our competitiveness.
“The bill would leverage quantum computing and artificial intelligence to predict and mitigate supply chain shocks, ensuring that technology is at the forefront of our national supply chain strategy,” she added.
Under the bipartisan bill, Commerce would be charged with leading a new government-wide supply chain resiliency and Crisis Response program to map, monitor and model U.S. supply chains in critical industries and emerging technologies. The program would monitor demands and find any gaps or vulnerabilities for critical goods, including any gaps in manufacturing, warehousing, transportation and distribution.
Commerce would also create an early warning supply chain disruption system that uses AI and quantum hybrid computing to identify potential supply chain shocks before they occur. This early warning mechanism would improve the U.S. government’s response to find alternative sources and take proactive steps with the private sector to mitigate before supply chain shocks have major negative impacts on the U.S. economy and consumers.
The bill would evaluate the capacity of domestic manufacturers as sources of critical goods, equipment or technology, including emerging technology. It will assess the U.S. manufacturing workforce and identify needs. The program will develop opportunities to build capacity in critical industries and emerging technology and to create high-quality American jobs.
Commerce will work with the private sector to develop best practices to promote secure and resilient supply chains for American producers and help improve their supply chain resiliency.
The bill creates a coordination group with other federal agencies, industry and civil society organizations, academia, state and local governments and key international allies to work with the new program to develop crucial supply chain resiliency policies and recommendations.
It also calls for capability assessments to inform the Executive Branch and Congress on the program and the ability to address supply chains and describe shortfalls for future action.