Supply Chain Review!

The Biden administration released its 100 day supply chain review earlier this month.

What’s in it? Thread. (…) 100 days ago, the administration directed four agencies to take a comprehensive look at the following industries: semiconductors, batteries, rare earths, and pharmaceuticals — whose supply chains have experienced disruptions this year.

Today, we got a whopping 250 pages report — the first of its kind for the US government.

Historically, there was a focus on supporting innovation over production. This report shows that era is over: the two are inextricably linked.

Instead, there’s a focus on moving past efficiency and price metrics and towards resilience and inclusive workforces.

This focus is particularly clear on the passages on labor unions.

Workers are placed at the center of these recommendations, which include calls for decarbonization subsidies to be contingent on card check requirements.

There’s also a recognition that significantly ramping up mining of rare earths to fuel the economic transformation is going to require close consultation with tribal nations whose lands overlap those mineral deposits.

Reducing those resource demands over time is also central.

Another notable feature: relatively light emphasis on enforcing the trade rule-book (such as most favored nation requirements that put all nations on the similar footing), and more emphasis on differential treatment depending on friendship status.

The report also clearly puts corporate governance at the center of supply chain problems, including short-termism in C suites and financial markets. Stock buybacks get a ding. CC @lenorepalladino

While adopting some of the Trump administration’s focus on reshoring, the report is more internationally focused, seeing allies as partners in the resilience efforts.

There’s a lot to unpack here, and I’ll be digesting the industry-specific recommendations in the days to come. Overall, the report gives hope that the days of outsourcing all “industry knowing” to the industries themselves is over, and that countervailing capacity in government and labor orgs is around the corner.

(Adapted from this thread.)

I write about democracy, political economy, and trade. Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and Roosevelt Forward.