2021 Supply Chain Executive Order

The 46th President issues an Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains, which calls for production of a report of risk, and policy recommendations for supply chains by specific criteria. The expectation for the report is within 100 days of the order. Some specifications of the report build on work done in previous Executive Orders 13806, 13953 and 14001 which focused on Foreign Threats to Domestic Supply Chains, Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply chain resiliency and Sustainable Public Health Supply Chain, respectively. The report is in position to provide information of opportunities in the future for all stakeholders.

American manufacturing capacity previously was an export to larger labor markets that did include China and India; two areas of huge economic growth in the later half of the past decade. Manufacturing ability was never only a lower skilled job when in comparison to engineering positions, but may now be seen rightly so, to be an area of national security importance in regards to the strength and support the jobs bring to their local communities.

The order encourages agency consultation as appropriate with other stakeholders across academia, communities, government of state, or local levels, industry professionals, and organizations outside of the government.

Supply Chains of specific concern are listed as follows:

  • Semiconductor manufacturing and logistics.
  • high-storage capacity batteries, as well as those for use in electric vehicles.
  • Strategic, critical materials and rare earth elements.
  • Pharmaceuticals and prerequisite ingredients

The report will have an unclassified form that may present a lower security risk, since the reports must be produced “with consultation with the heads of appropriate agencies”

Additional and more general areas of concern include the defense, energy and transportation industrial bases, public health and biological preparedness, information and communications technology (ICT), and agricultural commodities and food products.

Educational institutions often work in partnership to develop certificate and degree programs. This report can help focus and increase the effectiveness of grants for institutions and other stakeholders. The report will also represent an important note for future college students when in consideration of their majors.

This could be a chance to remove some out of date, unnecessary or disadvantageous rules. Many government reforms are often encumbersome to business as it is rare when reforms are removed.

Some concerns are given address in the order as well. Worried about Federal overreach into regulations in the private sector? Section 7 describes the order is to implement in consistency with applicable law. Although the same section describes limit to appropriations, which is a concern held by conservatives to be a method where bills may pass with a simple majority vote. A National Security Concern is present, in regards to the recent Senate Committee SolarWinds hack testimony hearing where hackers had embed themselves in the system in disguise of normal traffic. It remains to see if the information collection process will have adequate security, even if the final product is confidential and if done in consultation with relevant agencies. The Executive order and the Senate Committee hearing share some areas of concern that include supply chain attacks, workforce needs, interagency communication and the importance of action towards global actors and global partners.

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