Take Supply Chain Issues ‘More Seriously,’ Congressmen Urge
Now is not the time to lose momentum in the efforts to strengthen our nation’s supply chains, two congressmen warn in a recent op-ed.
Writing in The Hill, representatives Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) and Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) said the events of the past year call for a stepped-up role for the public sector. “The private sector in large part stepped up and adapted to the enormous challenges over many arduous months,” they wrote. “It is important, however, that we look back to assess the role government played in the issues in our supply chains.”
COVID-19, Schneider and Johnson wrote, “laid bare the lack of understanding about how modern supply chains function and the need for greater coordination with the private sector, as well as between government bodies. Supply chains are primarily the responsibility of the private sector, but there’s an important role for lawmakers, the administration and regulatory agencies, as well. The sheer breadth of issues and lack of ownership contributed to breakdowns in communication, duplicative efforts and missed opportunities to seize the moment.”
Their bill, H.R. 1024, calls for the creation of an Office of COVID–19 Supply Chain Resiliency to:
- “Serve as a central point of contact for federal and non-federal entities seeking technical assistance with respect to supply chain issues related to the COVID–19 pandemic;
- “provide technical assistance to federal and non-federal entities seeking technical assistance with respect to supply chain issues related to the COVID–19 pandemic; and
- “develop legislative recommendations to strengthen critical supply chains for pandemics, including the COVID–19 pandemic.”
“The first step to success is simply to take supply chain issues more seriously.”
The congressmen aren’t the only parties calling for an office to coordinate supply chain efforts at the national level. Earlier this year, the Consumer Brands Association and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals proposed the creation of a National Office of Supply Chain “to provide much-needed expertise, facilitate coordination across the federal government and encourage collaboration with the private sector.”
Also, the Biden Administration made headlines with the launch of a 100-day review to find vulnerabilities in strategic supply chains.
Writing in The Hill, Johnson and Schneider noted, “The first step to success is simply to take supply chain issues more seriously, and for us to collectively recognize that supply chains do not operate in a vacuum. They operate in the context we create as policymakers and leaders in Washington. It is up to us, Republicans and Democrats, to better direct and coordinate how we intend for those systems to function and deliver for Americans.”