As per the US Department of Commerce’s Supply Chain Centre, increasing supply chain resilience and several other crucial measures reduces costs for American families, bolsters US economic competitiveness, safeguards US national security, and generates decent jobs and broad-based economic opportunities. At the inaugural meeting of the White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience on November 27, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves stated that this work is about more than preventing shortages like those seen at the height of the pandemic; it is about ensuring that US companies lead the industries of the future and that all Americans benefit from the prosperity and security that comes with this leadership and freedom from unsustainable dependencies.
Deputy Secretary Graves delineated the distinctive contributions that the Supply Chain Centre, inaugurated by the Department of Commerce earlier this year, is making to the work of the U.S. supply chain. The Centre, housed in the Industry and Analysis division of the Commerce Department, seeks to serve as the US Government’s analytic engine for supply chain resilience policy action. By combining data analytics with industry knowledge, the Supply Chain Centre creates novel tools for assessing supply chain risk and coordinates in-depth analyses of a subset of critical supply chains to motivate targeted responses. As a force multiplier in enhancing the targeting and efficacy of US Government investments, the Centre is proactive in anticipating supply chain challenges, strategic in establishing policy focus and action priorities based on data-driven risk analysis, and a partner to the industry in constructing resilient supply chains and assisting US businesses in becoming leaders in the industries of the future.
Deputy Secretary Graves further elaborated on the extensive array of contributions Commerce is rendering in its capacity as a frontrunner in enhancing the resilience of the United States supply chain:
Supply Chain Data Summit
During the Supply Chain Data and Analytics Summit 2024, the Department will bring together a diverse group of public and private stakeholders. This will be done under the guidance of the Supply Chain Centre and the Industry and Analysis unit. Expert opinions will be gathered to inform models and tools for supply chain risk assessment, and data and analytical capabilities will be shared more broadly.
CHIPS Notice of Funding Opportunity
Commerce and CHIPS for America have initiated measures concerning semiconductor supply chains. Commerce announced a secondary funding opportunity on September 29 to bolster the robustness of the semiconductor supply chain, propelling US technological supremacy and sustaining thriving domestic semiconductor clusters. Applications are being accepted for manufacturing equipment facilities and commercial semiconductor materials with less than $300 million in capital investments. Continuing the Department’s June 2023 announcement, it provides additional funding for larger supply chain initiatives. Applicants in the supply chain are crucial to the fabrication of semiconductors in the United States, maintaining the domestic manufacturing ecosystem, and developing employment and prospects in communities nationwide.
Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEP)
Commerce’s efforts to assist small and medium-sized manufacturers, vital to US supply chains, have been expanding. Under the administration of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the Department of Commerce, the network of MEPs builds manufacturing capacity at all levels of the supply chain ecosystem and promotes innovation and sustainability in manufacturing. The allocation of over $20 million by MEP National for establishing the Supply Chain Optimisation and Innovation Network (S-COIN) occurred in June. S-COIN aims to facilitate supplier scouting, develop new service offerings to enhance current supply chain networks, bridge supply chain gaps by connecting original equipment manufacturers with small and medium-sized manufacturers, and produce an exhaustive map of supplier capability and capacity in the United States.
Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF)
Agreement negotiations under the IPEF have been substantially concluded between the United States and thirteen regional partner nations. Commerce has been instrumental in achieving historic cooperation agreements concerning supply chains, climate and sustainability, the prevention and fight against corruption, and the improvement of tax administration and transparency. The Supply Chain Agreement is an unprecedented and pioneering accord that aims to strengthen the competitiveness and resilience of critical supply chains. Commerce is initiating this endeavour by implementing pilot projects that improve the resilience of critical supply chains, such as those associated with critical minerals, semiconductors, and cold chain services.
Census Data Collection
The Census Bureau is currently engaged in phase 2 of the StatVentures Supply Chain Challenge via the Census Open Innovations Lab (COIL). This competition solicits novel data concepts from academia, industry, and the general public to enhance supply chain measurement. Census is also developing new data and visualisation tools to broaden the understanding of the United States Government regarding labour supply, manufacturing, imports/exports, the movement and sale of products, and other related topics.