US Department of Commerce focusing on supply chain resilience

Several key initiatives seek to strengthen the links that help avoid product shortages, strengthen US competitiveness and create good jobs

WASHINGTON — With a goal of lowering costs to Americans because of ongoing supply chain issues, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves participated in the inaugural meeting of the White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience earlier this week.

At the event here, he outlined the work of Commerce’s Supply Chain Center along with several other key steps he said the department is taking to lower costs for American families, strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness, protect U.S. national security, and create good jobs and broad-based economic opportunity by increasing the resilience of supply chains.

This work is about more than preventing shortages like those seen at the height of the pandemic — it is about ensuring U.S. companies lead the industries of the future and that all Americans benefit from the prosperity and security that comes with this leadership and freedom from unsustainable dependencies. 

The fact sheet on the Biden-Harris Administration efforts to strengthen supply chains is here.

“Increasing U.S. supply chain resilience is, without question, one of the top priorities here at the Department of Commerce,” said Deputy Secretary Graves. “By utilizing a whole-of-Commerce approach, the full force of the department is working to ensure that we have the tools and resources necessary to create an economy that works for all Americans, starting with resilient supply chains.” 

Graves described the unique contributions to U.S. supply chain work being made by the recently formed Supply Chain Center, established by Commerce earlier this year.

According to Graves, the Supply Chain Center integrates industry expertise and data analytics to develop innovative supply chain risk assessment tools and coordinate deep-dive analyses on select critical supply chains to drive targeted actions.

As part of his presentation, Graves made additional announcements and highlighted the wide range of contributions Commerce is making as a leader on U.S. supply chain resiliency, which include the following:

  • Supply Chain Data Summit: The department, led by the Supply Chain Center and the Industry and Analysis unit, will convene a diverse array of public and private stakeholders at a Supply Chain Data and Analytics Summit in 2024. The event will gather expert input to inform supply chain risk assessment models and tools and facilitate expanded sharing of data and analytic capabilities.
  • CHIPS Notice of Funding Opportunity: Commerce, along with CHIPS for America, has driven action on semiconductor supply chains. On Sept. 29, Commerce released a second funding opportunity to strengthen the resilience of the semiconductor supply chain, advance U.S. technology leadership, and support vibrant domestic semiconductor clusters. The funding opportunity seeks applications for commercial semiconductor materials and manufacturing equipment facilities with capital investments less than $300 million. It builds upon the department’s announcement in June expanding funding to larger supply chain projects. Supply chain applicants are vital to producing semiconductors in the United States, supporting the domestic manufacturing ecosystem, and creating jobs and opportunities in communities across the country.
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnerships: Small and medium-sized manufacturers are vital to U.S. supply chains, and Commerce has been expanding its work to support them. Administered by DOC’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, the network of MEPs works to drive innovation and sustainability in manufacturing and build U.S. manufacturing capacity at all tiers in the supply chain ecosystem. In June, MEP awarded more than $20 million across the MEP National network to create the Supply Chain Optimization and Innovation Network, or S-COIN, which will focus on providing supplier scouting services, establishing new service offerings to improve existing supply chain networks, filling gaps in the supply chain by connecting original equipment manufacturers with small and medium-sized manufacturers, and creating a complete map of U.S. supplier capability and capacity.
  • Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity: The United States and 13 regional partner nations have substantially concluded negotiations on agreements under IPEF. Commerce has played a leading role in reaching agreement on historic cooperation around supply chains, climate and sustainability, preventing and combating corruption, and improving tax transparency and tax administration. In particular, the Supply Chain Agreement is a first-of-its-kind, innovative accord that will help build resilience and competitiveness into critical supply chains, and Commerce is kickstarting this effort through pilot projects to enhance the resilience of key supply chains, including those related to semiconductors, critical minerals and cold chain services.
  • Census Data Collection: Through the Census Open Innovations Lab, the Census Bureau is currently in Phase 2 of the StatVentures Supply Chain Challenge, which seeks innovative data ideas from the public, industry and academia to improve measurement of supply chains. Census is also developing new data and visualization tools to expand U.S. Government insights into manufacturing, imports/exports, movement of goods, sale of goods, labor supply and more.

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