ITIF Welcomes Executive Order Reviewing Critical Supply Chains

February 24, 2021

WASHINGTON—In response to President Biden’s executive order directing a broad 100-day review of supply chains for critical materials, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the leading think tank for science and technology policy, released the following statement from ITIF’s vice president for global innovation policy, Stephen Ezell:

This executive order sends an important signal that the Biden administration is committed to strengthening the resilience and security of the supply chains that underpin U.S. competetiveness in advanced industries such as semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, batteries for electric vehicles, and rare-earth elements. Recent semiconductor shortages affecting other strategically important industries underscore the need to get supply chain policy right.

It’s important to investigate supply chains to find where advanced industries may face critical dependencies, vulnerabilities, and gaps. A thorough strategic review will show where trade rules need to be strengthened, and where we need to bolster domestic sources of supply.

To be effective, the review also must recognize there are reciprocal benefits from global supply chains for advanced technology industries. For instance, players in international supply chains are important customers for manufacturing equipment from the U.S. semiconductor industry, and they provide foundry capacity that supports the business models of U.S. fabless semiconductor producers.

This executive order is one of many steps the administration and Congress should take to bolster U.S. competitiveness in advanced-technology industries. America also needs comprehensive innovation and competitiveness strategies to spur needed investments in research and development, infrastructure, and skills. Otherwise, the United States will be at a competitive disadvantage versus China and other rivals.

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ITIF Welcomes Executive Order Reviewing Critical Supply Chains