For years I have spoken about the significance of supply chain to any nation’s economy and overall security. It is also why I started the geopolitical supply chain rundown, a series where I share my thoughts on geopolitical updates and how they affect global trade.
So, it was with great delight that I read about President Biden’s executive order that highlights the importance of strengthening America’s supply chain to ensure that American households and companies stop experiencing a shortage of everyday commodities or raw materials.
It is the first time the U.S. presidency is highlighting the importance of supply chain to national security. According to the White House, ‘building resilient supply chains will protect the United States from facing critical product shortages. It will also facilitate needed investments to maintain America’s competitive edge and strengthen our national security.’
This move by the President aligns with his campaign promise of reviewing the supply chains and improving the US state’s competitiveness. The pandemic highlighted many vulnerabilities in our supply chains, and we must begin to build back better. To understand the risks we face, we must evaluate our supply chains comprehensively. The only way to do that is to conduct a robust supply chain and risk mapping. It helps us identify where our vulnerabilities are and understand how susceptible we are.
Mapping our supply chain as a nation will also help us review the different tiers of the supply chain, their location, and how they can become vulnerable in a crisis. We must begin to think of how we have been susceptible to the shortage of PPEs and other products. Supply chain is not only the bedrock of *change*, it is the bedrock of competition for any company and any country.
The United States needs to undergo this evaluation to see where we are. For us, it is comparative. How can we have a progressive, digital and decentralized supply chain that goes into the supply network? How can we have a supply chain where we understand the vulnerabilities? How can we weave resilience into the framework? These are the questions we must start asking.
I am looking forward to the review of our supply chain, and I am delighted that this is happening. Everything the United States does is connected to national interest and national security. Now that we recognize that supply chain vulnerability is a national security concern, it is time to fix the loopholes and protect the nation.
This move will shape the way we trade, the way we source, and the way we procure from now on. It is a step in the right direction. Especially for many things we have struggled with, – climate change, nearshoring, and offshoring, If we will protect our national security, and remain a formidable force in the world trade and economy, we must make this a priority.
Of course, I am delighted about this move because I am a supply chain professional. For us, there is a renewed zeal to do more. It is also proof that we are gaining traction.