Biden reveals plan to solve crippling shortages of computer chips, batteries, and medicine
- The US
economyhas been hit with crippling supply shortages, and Biden has a plan.
- The efforts aim to address immediate supply-chain problems and bolster domestic production.
- The US will also look to shift its international supply-chain priorities from competitors to allies.
The US economic recovery is well on its way, but it hasn't been without its hurdles. Among the direst are supply-chain bottlenecks fueling shortages across a range of products. Inadequate supply of lumber has crippled the housing market and led prices to skyrocket. A lack of semiconductor chips is slowing activity in the automotive and tech sectors. And the medicine industry remains hobbled by a shortage of active pharmaceutical ingredients.The
Agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Interior will work with the administration to ease the supply-demand imbalances, according to a Tuesday release. Specifically, the Commerce Department will lead an effort to track supply and demand disruptions as they emerge and share information between government and private entities to curb risks.The administration's strategy also seeks to improve
Looking abroad, the US will shift its supply-chain priorities away from competitors and toward global allies, as well as crack down on unfair international trade practices, according to the release. The so-called strike force led by the US Trade Representative will propose enforcement actions against unfair trade practices committed by other countries. The force will also seek out opportunities to strengthen trade relationships and supply-chain resilience with allies, the White House said.
Boosting production at homeMuch of the plan's long-term goals hinge on boosting domestic production, particularly for items in short supply today. Biden recommended Congress spend at least $50 billion on researching, developing, and manufacturing critical semiconductors within the US. The chips are used in everything from vehicles to kitchen appliances, and a global shortage has held back supply just as reopening boosted demand. The spending is a key element of a bill slated for a Senate vote that aims to boost competitiveness against China.
The Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office will immediately leverage roughly $17 billion in loan authority to support the domestic production of vehicle batteries. The funds will be used for re-equipping, expanding, and establishing battery production facilities in the US.
The Department of Health and Human Services will make an initial investment of about $60 million to develop technology for increasing production of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Improved API production in the US helps reduce the country's reliance on global suppliers for in-demand medicines, especially in times of increased public-health need, the administration said.
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