In order to ensure that the United States possesses resilient supply chains that protect national security, meet America’s needs during emergencies and keep America competitive globally, the Biden Administration has issued an executive order on “America’s Supply Chains.” The order initiates two tiers of supply chain reviews: a 100-day supply chain review of four specific U.S. industries and a year-long review of six sector-wide U.S. supply chains. These reviews will lead to the issuance of reports by relevant agencies and departments that will analyze the current conditions of the respective supply chains and recommend steps to reduce reliance on specific countries for critical goods and services, and to avoid such reliance in the future.
The executive order is notable in that it represents the first serious attempt by the U.S. government to develop a comprehensive, government-wide policy on supply chains. The fact that President Biden is taking this step during his second month in office only underscores the extent to which supply chains have become a critical issue in such a short period of time.
While the immediate cause of this increased focus may have been the pandemic, the text of the order evidences that the Administration’s concerns go beyond COVID. Indeed, the U.S. government has been working on a new regulatory structure for the Information and Communications Technology and Services (“ICTS”) supply chain for over a year, as we previously advised here.