Remarks by President Biden to the Global Supply Chain Resilience Summit
PRESIDENT BIDEN: Thank you all for being with us today. I think the Prime Minister may still be busy in another part of the building, so we’ll start.
We will focus our common attention on a vital problem that impacts all our countries: supply chain disruptions. Supply chains are something most of our citizens never think twice about until something goes wrong.
And during this pandemic, we’ve seen delays and backlogs of goods – from automobiles to electronics, shoes to furniture.
Ending the pandemic is the ultimate key to unlocking the disruption we all face. But we must act now, with our private sector partners, to reduce the backlogs we face. And then we have to prevent that from happening again in the future.
Now that we have seen how vulnerable these global trade lines can be, we cannot resume our usual activities. This pandemic will not be the last global health crisis we will face. We also need to increase our resilience to climate change, natural disasters and even planned attacks.
Many of our supply chains are almost entirely owned and operated by the private sector. But government can play a key role in identifying supply chain risks and bringing together the different elements and actors to address these vulnerabilities.
In the United States, my administration has focused on this issue from our early days of administration, which is not that long ago – just January 20 of this year. In February, we began leading new investments to strengthen supply chains in the country and work with partners to strengthen supply chains around the world.
Last month, we launched an early warning system to help stay ahead of disruptions in the global supply chain for computer chips, which are impacting so many industries in my country and all of yours.
Just a few weeks ago, we were able to facilitate a deal with key unions, retailers and freight carriers to begin operating two of the largest ports in the United States, which account for 40% of West Coast imports. : Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach, California. So we made them go from 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I’ll help get it – it’s going to help get the goods off the shelves faster. And our Build Back Better framework provides, for the first time, dedicated funding to monitor and strengthen supply chains.
Today I am announcing two more steps: First, I am allocating additional funds to help American partners, as well as the United States, reduce port congestion by reducing red tape and processing times. so that ships can enter and leave our ports more quickly.
And second, I am signing an Executive Order that will strengthen our management of US defense stocks for minerals and materials. This will allow us – will allow us to react and respond more quickly to the shortcomings of the industrial base.
I urge all of you – all of you – to consider strengthening your stocks essential to national security in your countries. But like so many challenges today, it is not a problem that one of our nations can solve through unilateral actions. Coordination is the key – the reason for this meeting.
The best way to reduce current delays and build resilience for the future is to work together throughout the supply chain, from raw materials to warehousing and distribution.
Our supply chain should be: one, diverse, so that we are not dependent on any single source that could cause failure; secure – secure against natural and man-made threats, including cyber attacks and criminal attacks, such as ransomware; and transparent so that government and the private sector can better anticipate and respond to shortages that may arise; and sustainable, to ensure our supply chains are free from forced labor and children, supporting the dignity and voice of workers, and aligned with our climate goals.
Because at the end of the day, supply chain resilience is really about all of our employees, the workers around the world who make the flow of goods possible – factory workers, dockers, welders, crews. transport, truckers, daycares, locomotives, so many other parts.
Solving this problem will take us all – government and private industry, unions and research institutes.
So I ask my Secretary of State – Secretaries of State and Trade to chair a multi-stakeholder forum early next year to bring all of these key parties together with relevant officials from all of our governments to chart a way forward.
I look forward to hearing from you and finding ways to work together to increase our resilience and enhance our common prosperity.
Now I’ll let Secretary Blinken make sure the trains run on time here.