Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains

11 March 2021 Manufacturing Industry Advisor Blog
Authors: Stephanie M. Cash

On February 24, 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order with the policy goal of strengthening and diversifying supply chains in the United States (the “Order”).  The Order was issued to combat various threats to supply chains which include pandemics, biological threats, cyber-attacks, climate shocks and extreme weather events, terrorist attacks, geopolitical and economic competition, and other conditions that may reduce critical manufacturing capacity and impact supply chains.

100-Day Initial Reporting

The Order requires the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA) and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy (APEP) to coordinate the actions of the executive branch to further the policy of building more resilient supply chains, which includes consultation between the heads of agencies with outside stakeholders in industry, academia, non-governmental organizations, communities, labor unions, and state, local, and tribal governments. President Biden charged the APNSA and the APEP with facilitating a review of supply chain risks and delivering specific reports within 100 days of the Order (by June 4, 2021).

The reports are to include an assessment of the following topics:

  • Risks in the semiconductor manufacturing and advanced packaging supply chains and policy recommendations to address these risks (to be prepared by the Secretary of Commerce).

  • Risks in the supply chain for high-capacity batteries, including electric-vehicle batteries, and policy recommendations to address these risks (to be prepared by the Secretary of Energy).         

  • Risks in the supply chain for critical minerals and other identified strategic materials, including rare earth elements, policy recommendations to address these risks, and updates on work done pursuant to Executive Order 13953 of September 30, 2020 (Addressing the Threat to the Domestic Supply Chain From Reliance on Critical Minerals From Foreign Adversaries and Supporting the Domestic Mining and Processing Industries) (to be prepared by the Secretary of Defense).          

  • Risks in the supply chain for pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients and policy recommendations to address these risks, and additional information concerning the steps taken to secure the supply chains of critical items needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including personal protective equipment, conducted pursuant to Executive Order 14001 of January 21, 2021 (A Sustainable Public Health Supply Chain) (to be prepared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services).

1-Year Reporting

The APNSA and the APEP must coordinate additional reports to be submitted to the President within 1 year of the Order (by February 24, 2022).

The reports are to include an assessment of supply chains for the following:

  • The defense industrial base and areas where civilian supply chains are dependent upon competitor nations (to be prepared by the Secretary of Defense).

  • The public health and biological preparedness industrial base (to be prepared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services)

  • Critical sectors and subsectors of the information and communications technology (ICT) industrial base, including the industrial base for the development of ICT software, data, and associated services (to be prepared by the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Homeland Security)

  • The energy sector industrial base (to be prepared by the Secretary of Energy).

  • The transportation industrial base (to be prepared by the Secretary of Transportation).

  • The production of agricultural commodities and food products (to be prepared by the Secretary of Agriculture).

In addition to reports on the above, the Order requires the APNSA and the APEP to recommend adjustments for each described industrial base assessment, including a broadened scope for the review of digital networks, services, assets, data, goods, and materials, as appropriate.  The Order further includes an expansive list of items that each report should address in the analysis of supply chains in the United States.

Reporting Review

After the 100-day and 1-year reports are presented, the APNSA and the APEP are to provide reviews of the actions taken over the previous year. The APNSA and the APEP are further required to provide recommendations of the steps, reforms, processes, partnerships, training, incentives, and other changes that are necessary to strengthen and diversify supply chains in light of the findings. With this approach, the Order purports to, among other things, facilitate greater domestic production, range of supply and stockpiles, built-in redundancies, and safer digital networks, with a focus on fostering collective economic and national security through an increased capacity to respond to international disasters and emergencies.   

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