Earlier today, the White House released the findings of its 100-day supply chain review initiated by Executive Order 14017 – “America’s Supply Chains” and announced a set of immediate actions it is looking to take in an effort to strengthen U.S. supply chains “to promote economic security, national security, and good-paying, union jobs here at home.”
The 250-page report contains review sections and policy recommendations for four technology sectors deemed critical: semiconductor manufacturing and advanced packaging; large capacity batteries, like those for electric vehicles; critical minerals and materials; and pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).
The Biden Administration should be commended for acknowledging that “[f]or too many years, we’ve let our production capacity for critical goods migrate overseas rather than making investments to support U.S. manufacturing and U.S. workers,” as a senior Administration official told reporters earlier today, and for making good on its commitment to thoroughly review bottlenecks, supply risks and possible solutions.
After several news reports that the President and his team would look primarily to America’s allies as sources of critical raw materials and, rather than looking into increasing production domestically, would focus on supporting domestic processing of such imported materials, it is encouraging to see that the White House report also sees a role for new domestic exploration, with the Administration planning to work to “identify new domestic sites where such critical minerals could be mined with environmental safeguards.”
This would be consistent with ARPN’s call for an “all of the above” approach, most recently laid out before members of Congress during a virtual panel discussion by ARPN principal Daniel McGroarty.
Of course, the devil is in the details, and ARPN will dig deeper into the full report in posts to come. But the topline is clear: In our Tech Metals Age, secure supply chains are essential to advanced manufacturing, renewable energy, public health and national security. And minerals and metals are the indispensable ingredients in each case.