Strengthening U.S. Supply Chains – New White House Actions Are Far Reaching

Published: November 29, 2023

Federal Market AnalysisArtificial Intelligence/Machine LearningBig DataContracting TrendsCritical Infrastructure ProtectionCybersecurityEnergy EfficiencyPolicy and Legislation

The broad scope of the Biden Administration’s new supply chain initiatives will both impact and present opportunities for federal contractors.

This week the White House announced several new initiatives to shore up U.S. supply chains. Coinciding with the creation of a new White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience, the administration is launching dozens of new activities and actions aimed strengthening supply chain resilience and security.

Broad Scope and New Organizations

The broad scope of these efforts is the first element that catches one’s attention. Supply chains addressed include critical drugs, clean energy supply, critical minerals and raw materials for semiconductor manufacturing, transportation logistics, the domestic food supply, etc.

The initiative also creates several new offices or other organizations across the federal government, including at the White House and the Departments of Defense (DOD), Homeland Security (DHS), Health and Human Services (HHS), Energy (DOE), Agriculture (USDA), Commerce (DOC) and Transportation (DOT) and others.

Key new federal strategies, plans and efforts of potential interest to federal contractors include:

  • DOD will publish the first ever National Defense Industrial Strategy (NDIS) to guide engagement, policy development, and investment in the defense industrial base over the next three to five years.
  • DOD is creating a Supply Chain Mapping Tool to analyze supplier data for 110 weapon systems to increasing supply chain visibility, to identify vulnerabilities and develop mitigation strategies.
  • DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO) is sponsoring a study to develop a nationwide plan for smart manufacturing, to establish priority investments in new digital and artificial intelligence technologies that will enhance the productivity and security of manufacturing systems critical to domestic supply chains.
  • DOE is developing an assessment tool that accounts for critical mineral raw materials, manufacturing, workforce, and logistics considerations across energy supply chains. USGS will map and develop geospatial databases for select global critical product supply chains.
  • DHS is launching a new Supply Chain Resilience Center (SCRC) dedicated to ensuring the resilience of supply chains for critical infrastructure.
  • DHS and Commerce will collaborate to continue to strengthen the semiconductor supply chain.
  • Commerce will hold a Supply Chain Data and Analytics Summit in 2024 to convene public and private stakeholders to gain input into supply chain risk assessment models and tools.
  • DOT is launching an Office of Multimodal Freight Infrastructure and Policy (Multimodal Freight Office) responsible for maintaining and improving the condition and performance of the nation’s multimodal freight network, including through the development of the National Multimodal Freight Network, etc.
  • The National Science and Technology Council’s Critical Minerals Subcommittee plans to launch a new website in January 2024.
  • United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) will host a series of hackathons beginning in February 2024 to develop novel artificial intelligence approaches to assess domestic critical mineral resources.

Items of Contractor Interest and Potential Support Opportunities:

The White House plans have several elements that may impact the contracting industrial base or may require contractor support, including:

  • Use of data analytics and modeling to analyze supply chain risks and resilience for critical domestic and international supplies of medicines, semiconductor materials and manufacturing.
  • Developing new cross-governmental supply chain data-sharing capabilities to improve supply chain monitoring and strategy.
  • Developing of new digital technologies and artificial intelligence capabilities.
  • Use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to mitigate drug shortages.
  • Use of grants, prize competitions and other federal investments in supply chain infrastructure.

The latest federal initiatives join several previously launched efforts to address federal supply chain concerns. Federal suppliers and service providers need to stay attuned to these current and bourgeoning activities to maintain a competitive stance in the market.