ECONOMIC White House Touts New Supply Chain Measures as Inflation...

White House Touts New Supply Chain Measures as Inflation Eases

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The Biden administration will announce a redoubling of measures to strengthen supply chains on Monday, expanding an effort it credits with helping to ease post-pandemic inflation.

Central to the effort is a new White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience, a cabinet-level body that President Joe Biden will inaugurate Monday. The council will conduct a quadrennial supply chain review, mirroring similar strategic documents prepared for national defense and homeland security. The first review is due at the end of 2024.

“We’re pleased with the progress on supply chains that was showing up in lower prices for everything from turkeys to gas prices for families this Thanksgiving, but we’re determined to keep working,” White House Economic Adviser Lael Brainard told reporters ahead of the announcement.

An analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in June concluded that supply chain pressures following the pandemic accounted for 60% of the surge in US inflation. The White House has been eager to adopt that explanation because it would mean that the pandemic — not the government’s fiscal stimulus in response — was the primary driver of higher prices.

As part of the rollout, the Biden Administration will announce a set of bureaucratic actions, according to two White House officials who briefed reporters Sunday.

They include an invocation of the Defense Production Act to invest $35 million in starting materials for sterile injectable medicines, and a new report on US reliance on high-risk foreign suppliers to the pharmaceutical supply chain.

The existing Freight Logistics Optimization Works program, a public-private information-sharing agreement that allows major shippers to see real-time logistics data to better predict bottlenecks, will announce new participants and add containerized shipments of agricultural products.

The Department of Energy will announce almost $300 million in grants to coal communities to convert to what it calls “clean energy supply chains.”

Photo: Operations at the Port of Los Angeles. Photographer: Lauren Justice/Bloomberg

Copyright 2023 Bloomberg.

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