After months of “good-faith bipartisan negotiations,” the committee passed on Dec. 6 the Promoting Resilience Supply Chains Act introduced earlier in the month by Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., and Larry Buschon, R-Ind. The duo also introduced at the same time the Deploying American Blockchains Act.
Blunt Rochester said the Promoting Resilience Supply Chains Act would create a “whole-of-government approach to mapping, monitoring and proactively strengthening American supply chains,” and would bring “manufacturing jobs back home” to ultimately lower costs for American consumers.
The bill, which will now advance to the full House floor, would also task the Assistant Secretary of Commerce with creating a program to map and monitor supply chains to address shocks, such as natural disasters, pandemics, cyber-attacks or other conflicts and threats, before they occur and facilitate private-public partnerships, including with international players, to support supply chain resiliency.
It also calls for the creation of a “coordination group” to ensure labor is “at the table in advising on crucial supply chain resiliency policy,” and it would design an improved list of emerging technologies to support supply chain resiliency.
Industry stakeholders lauded the passage and encouraged Congress to quickly pass the act.
Consumer Brands Association President and CEO David Chavern noted the legislation “thoughtfully incorporates many CPG industry priorities, including the establishment of a supply chain resiliency program at the Department of Commerce, tools to map and monitor supply chains, and strategic reviews to guide policy that complements private sector investments and focus.”
He added the legislation also “lays the groundwork for better response and getting ahead of future crises.”
Echoing CBA’s praise for the legislation, Chris Netram, managing vice president of policy for the National Association of Manufacturers, added the bill, along with “significant strides” by manufactures to strengthen supply chains, also would drive “job-creating investments throughout the manufacturing industry and supports American manufacturing competitiveness on the world stage.”
White House advances efforts to strengthen supply chains, lower costs
The legislation moved days after the Biden Administration convened an inaugural meeting of the White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience, which included representatives from across government agencies.
The same day, the administration issued a Presidential Determination to broaden the Department of Health and Human Services’ authorities under the Defense Production act to invest in domestic manufacturing of “essential medicines,” which could include medical food, and to create a Supply Chain Resilience and Shortage Coordinator to strengthen critical food supply chains and address shortages, such as the infant formula shortage.
The administration has also helped develop cross-government partnerships to enhance supply chain resiliency, including the Department of Transportation’s Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW) program, which the CPG industry, including the Consumer Brands Association, actively supported as a low cost way to improve shipping efficiency.
The executive branch has also supported $196m worth of investments by the US Department of Agriculture to strengthen domestic food supply chains and diversify food processing, agricultural markets and fertilizer production.
Before the end of the year, the White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience will update supply chain resiliency criteria for critical products, according to The White House.