Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has laid out a plan to help reduce the reliance of US supply chains on overseas companies.
Biden’s plan brings together many of the policies he has proposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said if elected he will institute a 100-day government-wide review of supply chain vulnerabilities, which will “designate vital products where the US needs to address supply chain vulnerabilities, and immediately close identified gaps”.
Biden’s proposals include invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) to hasten production of urgent medical supplies and using federal purchasing power to bolster domestic manufacturing capacity.
He aims to increase domestic production of urgent health supplies, boost strategic stockpiles and ensure the US has surge capacity during national emergencies.
Biden said he intended to crack down on anti-competitive practices that threaten supply chains.
“The goal here is not pure self-sufficiency, but broad-based resilience,” Biden’s webpage said.
It said a Biden administration would also work with allies to protect their supply chains and to open new markets to US exports.
Biden said the DPA grants the president broad authority to put the domestic industrial base to work at increasing emergency preparedness.
He said the federal government had authority under the Procurement Act of 1949 to establish “policies and directives” for federal procurement.
“Joe Biden will use that authority to build up capabilities throughout the supply chain,” his statement said.
He said use of federal purchasing power to build US manufacturing capacity for critical products would focus on the supply chains of companies that receive large federal contracts as well as finished products.
Biden also accused the Trump administration of “dragging its feet” when it came to using the DPA to produce urgently-needed supplies to combat the pandemic.
“For example, months into the crisis we still face a shortage of N95 masks. By contrast, Biden will use the DPA to direct US companies to ramp up production of critical products that will be needed over the near term.”
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