Staff report from White House press release
Washington – November 27, 2023
In a background press call held yesterday, National Economic Advisor Lael Brainard, accompanied by senior administration officials, outlined the Biden administration’s forthcoming initiatives aimed at fortifying American supply chains and addressing inflationary concerns.
The call, embargoed until 5:00 a.m. on November 27th, highlighted President Biden’s commitment to addressing supply chain disruptions that have plagued various sectors, ranging from semiconductors to household goods, exacerbated by the unprecedented stress induced by the pandemic.
Brainard underscored the actions taken by the administration since President Biden took office, citing the signing of executive orders, including the establishment of a Supply Chain Disruptions Taskforce and crucial legislative achievements like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and CHIPS Act.
Acknowledging the adverse effects of supply chain stress on inflation, Brainard noted a 65 percent decrease in inflation from its peak, attributing it to the administration’s efforts to alleviate supply chain pressures.
Despite progress made, Brainard emphasized that the work to fortify supply chains and alleviate consumer prices remains ongoing. President Biden is set to launch a White House Council on Supplier Resilience and announce 30 new actions aimed at enhancing supply chains and reducing costs for American families.
Key announcements include a presidential determination broadening the Department of Health and Human Services’ authorities under the Defense Production Act to address drug shortages and invest in essential medicines domestically. Additionally, the Department of Defense will release a report on pharmaceutical supply chain resilience.
Other initiatives involve the launch of a Supply Chain Resilience Center by the Department of Homeland Security and a new supply chain center by the Department of Commerce. Collaboration between DHS and the Department of Commerce aims to reinforce the semiconductor supply chain and implement the CHIPS and Science Act.
In response to inquiries during the Q&A session, officials stressed the importance of diversifying supply chains for critical goods to mitigate risks from geopolitical and economic vulnerabilities. The focus will involve strategic collaboration with domestic and international partners and leveraging agency-specific expertise.
Regarding concerns about cybersecurity risks in data sharing across supply chains, officials highlighted collaborative efforts among various industry players and federal agencies to bolster system interoperability and security measures.
As the administration prepares to roll out these initiatives, plans include the appointment of a coordinator at HHS, funded with $35 million for investments in domestic production of crucial medical supplies.
Further, the invocation of the Defense Production Act is imminent, although officials caution the complexity of the issue and anticipate a gradual impact on addressing domestic manufacturing capabilities and drug shortages.
The press call, featuring remarks by Brainard on the record and subsequent Q&A with White House officials, provided insights into the multifaceted approach the administration is undertaking to strengthen supply chains and mitigate inflationary pressures.