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ASA Supports Building Resilient Supply Chains Act

On October 5, 2021, Reps. Malinowski (D-NJ), Kinzinger (R-IL), and Rochester (D-DE) introduced the Building Resilient Supply Chains Act, H.R. 5495 to establish the Supply Chain Resiliency and Crisis Response Office in the Commerce Department and authorizes $41 billion for the Office to make grants and loans to support the expansion of domestic manufacturing of critical goods and services, industrial equipment, and manufacturing technology.  This legislation would strengthen U.S. supply chains and spur domestic manufacturing of critical goods to grow the U.S. economy and enhance America’s national security.

President Biden’s American Jobs Plan called for the creation of such an office at the Department of Commerce and for comparable levels of funding to enable America to produce “the technologies and goods that meet today’s challenges and seize tomorrow’s opportunities.” The Biden Administration subsequently released a report in June 2021, pursuant to Executive Order 14017 (“America’s Supply Chains”), which assessed supply chain vulnerabilities across a range of key products, including semiconductors, high-capacity batteries, and critical minerals. The report underscored the need for a dedicated office at the Department of Commerce and for robust funding to address vulnerabilities associated with these and other products.

U.S. economic and national security will depend in part on whether the federal government invests meaningfully in creating resilient supply chains to guard against unexpected shocks, whether they’re caused by market or economic forces, global conflicts, natural disasters, or public health crises. Disruptions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have clarified the need to strengthen U.S. supply chains and reinvest in American manufacturing capacity to meet the immediate challenges of today and to lead in the future.

This legislation could address semiconductor shortages, which have contributed to disruptions throughout the economy, including production cutbacks at U.S. automakers and increased prices for consumers looking to buy a new or used car. Semiconductors are key components in everyday consumer goods, including dishwashers, televisions, and refrigerators, and they play a significant role in major sectors of the U.S. economy, including agriculture, healthcare, and defense. The U.S. has fallen from 37 percent of global semiconductor production twenty years ago to just over 12 percent today.

Looking ahead, the U.S. will only be able to compete with China in the clean energy technology market if we make significant investments in domestic battery production for use in electric vehicles and polysilicon for use in solar equipment.