Release of Historic Industrial Base Reports by Seven Federal Agencies Caps Off a Year of Action Fortifying America’s Supply Chains
One year ago, President Biden signed Executive Order 14017 directing an all-of-government approach to assessing vulnerabilities in – and strengthening the resilience of – the United States’ critical supply chains. Within six months of taking office, the Administration completed a comprehensive review of the supply chains for four critical products, identified solutions to secure those supply chains against a wide range of risks and vulnerabilities, and established a first-of-its-kind Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force (SCDTF) to address the challenges arising from a pandemic-affected economic recovery.
These actions are contributing to a historic recovery in American manufacturing and industrial strength. During President Biden’s first year in office, the economy added 367,000 manufacturing jobs – the most in nearly 30 years – manufacturing as a share of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) returned to pre-pandemic levels, and companies have announced major new investments in American manufacturing. American ports also moved a record amount of cargo, and inflation-adjusted retail inventories – excluding autos – surged 5 percent in 2021 compared to the previous year, ensuring retailers’ shelves were fully stocked for a record-breaking holiday season. The progress made rebuilding American supply chains contributed to the fastest job growth in history, the fastest economic growth in nearly 40 years, and a faster recovery than every other country in the G7.
Today, on the one-year anniversary of President Biden’s executive order, seven cabinet agencies published reports identifying key weaknesses in some of the nation’s most crucial supply chains, and devising multi-year strategies to address those weaknesses. The White House also published a capstone report that provides an overview of the key actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken over the past year to reduce the vulnerability of U.S. supply chains across a range of key sectors. And in the coming months, a number of federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor (DOL), will host regional summits that will bring together stakeholders to discuss opportunities to align regional economic development strategies with the national supply chain strategy.
Links to agency reports:
Building on the conclusions outlined in these reports, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing additional, concrete actions it will take this year to build long-term resilience across critical supply chains and formally institutionalize supply chain resilience throughout the Federal government. Central to this effort is implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which is our nation’s most significant investment ever in modernizing the transportation systems on which our supply chains depend. Looking forward, with the historic investments included in the landmark America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act, the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), and President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda, these actions will strengthen our supply chains, grow domestic manufacturing, enhance our domestic workforce with a focus on good, union jobs, and help us outcompete China and the rest of the world. Specifically, the Biden-Harris Administration will:
Put the U.S. Economy on a Path Towards Long-Term Resilience Across Critical Supply Chains:
Since his first day in office, President Biden has focused on an industrial strategy to address near-term disruptions linked to the global pandemic, revitalize our manufacturing base, strengthen critical supply chains, and position U.S. workers and businesses to compete and lead globally in the 21st century. To date, the SCDTF’s whole-of-government actions have contributed to a more than 70 percent decline in long-dwelling containers cluttering the docks at our two largest ports. Over $600 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) resources have already been announced to strengthen the port workforce and improve facility efficiency at ports nationwide, from California and Florida to Massachusetts and Louisiana. These actions have also produced new supply chain partnerships between the automobile and semiconductor industries. And, they have helped secure $1 billion in ARP funding to expand meat processing capacity to promote competition and reduce prices for consumers. Because of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to domestic industrial revitalization, American companies are also betting on the United States again. In just the last year, companies have announced nearly $200 billion in investments for semiconductor, electric vehicle, and battery manufacturing in the United States. But there is more work to do to build long-term resilience. In addition to working with Congress to enact the historic, bipartisan COMPETES/USICA legislation and the President’s Build Back Better Agenda, the Biden-Harris Administration will:
- Propose a new domestic manufacturing initiative through the Export-Import Bank to strengthen U.S. manufacturing exports. Too many American manufacturers – especially small- and medium-sized ones– struggle to obtain the financing they need to expand their operations and compete for global sales. As the official export credit agency of the United States, the Export-Import Bank (EXIM) is well positioned to address this issue, supporting jobs in America along the way. This Spring, EXIM’s board will vote on a new domestic initiative, including providing financing priority to environmentally beneficial, small business, and transformational export area transactions, including semiconductors, biotech and biomedical products, renewable energy, and energy storage. This initiative will help America win the future by revitalizing American manufacturing, improving the resiliency of our supply chains, and leveling the playing field for American companies competing in overseas markets.
- Expand access to capital for small manufacturers. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, too many small businesses struggled to access the capital needed to grow and compete. Through new and existing programs at the Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Biden-Harris Administration will unlock tens of billions of dollars for small manufacturers. Specifically, $10 billion in ARP funds deployed by the Treasury Department under the new and improved State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) will be leveraged into more than $70 billion in additional lending and investment for small businesses, including small manufacturers. Nearly a quarter of funding from the last round of SSBCI supported manufacturing companies. To ensure small manufacturers can access this program, the Treasury Department will convene state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments this Spring to share ideas and highlight best practices, building to a roundtable of elected officials and other stakeholders later this year to highlight accomplishments. SBA will also promote and prioritize licenses for Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) committed to providing capital to domestic small business manufacturers. SBIC fund managers have financed over $14 billion in manufacturing-related businesses over the last decade, representing 24 percent of total dollars invested through the program during that period.
- Advance the technological leadership of both small and large manufacturers. U.S. technological leadership remains critical to building greater long-term resilience and global competitiveness, including innovations in manufacturing. The Administration will host a series of roundtables with the 16 Manufacturing USA institutes focused on scaling innovative technologies, promoting sector-based regional workforce initiatives, partnering with unions, and supporting small- and medium-sized suppliers, to develop specific proposals for how the institutes can strengthen our supply chains. SBA will also host the inaugural America’s Seed Fund Start-up Expo to support Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awardees seeking to access resources and assistance they need to help them commercialize and manufacture innovative technologies addressing critical supply chain challenges. Additionally, SBA will establish a committee of industry leaders to advise on transformative inventions and innovations from U.S.-based startups and established small businesses, as well as vulnerabilities in commercializing and financing domestic innovation.
- Leverage the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to move critical goods from ships to shelves faster and more affordably. Outdated infrastructure and the COVID-19 pandemic have strained the capacity of the entire goods movement supply chain, resulting in unprecedented snarls in global freight and logistics supply chains. Recognizing the importance of port investments for U.S. competitiveness, President Biden’s BIL is the single largest Federal investment in our ports in U.S. history. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is announcing the opening of the $450 million Port Infrastructure Development Grant program, the first and only Federal grant program wholly dedicated to investments in port infrastructure. In the coming weeks, DOT will also release notices of funding opportunity for the BIL’s INFRA, MEGA, CRISI, and grade crossing grant programs, which will fund a diverse set of transportation infrastructure projects of regional and national significance, including those that support the movement of freight and improve supply chain resilience. And, DOT will develop and issue revised State Freight Plan Guidance that incorporates updated requirements from BIL and requires consideration of cargo flows, the impacts of e-commerce, and supply chain resilience in directing BIL funding.
- Invest in sustainable domestic production and processing of critical minerals. From rare earths in our electric motors and generators to the carbon fiber used for airplanes, the United States must ensure we are not dependent on foreign or single sources for critical minerals. To that end, this week the Biden-Harris Administration announced plans that will expand domestic rare earth processing; strengthen the National Defense Stockpile; update mining regulations to ensure sustainable and responsible practices; and issue recommendations for comprehensive reform of outdated mining laws. Through the BIL, the Department of Energy (DOE) will also demonstrate the feasibility of a full-scale integrated rare earth element extraction and separation facility and refinery from mine waste. Today, as part of the Mining Innovations for Negative Emissions Resources (MINER) Program, DOE is also releasing a $44 million…