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Biden Orders Review of Supply Chain for Semiconductor Chips, Critical Resources

President Joe Biden holds a semiconductor chip as he speaks prior to signing an executive order aimed at addressing a global semiconductor chip shortage in the State Dining Room at the White House, February 24, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

President Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday mandating a review of supply chains for semiconductor chips and other critical goods.

Multiple American politicians have expressed concern over the country’s reliance on supply chains based in China during the coronavirus pandemic, including for medical products. The U.S. is currently facing a shortage of semiconductor chips, a component of computer technology used in the auto industry, smartphones, and military tech, among other applications.

Biden’s order will initiate a 100-day review of supply chains for pharmaceuticals, semiconductor chips, minerals and rare earths, and high-capacity batteries.

“It’s about resilience, identifying possible points of vulnerabilities in our supply chain, and making sure we have the backup alternatives or workarounds in place,” Biden said at a press conference on Wednesday. “Even small failures at one point in the supply chain can cause outsized impacts further up the chain.”

According to a White House fact sheet, supply chain reviews “must identify critical goods and materials within supply chains, the manufacturing or other capabilities needed to produce those materials, as well as a variety of vulnerabilities created by failure to develop domestic capabilities.”

Tech components identified in the order are expected to become even more critical to the U.S. as the auto industry plans to convert to production of electric vehicles. General Motors recently announced plans to cease production of gas-powered vehicles entirely by 2035, and is attempting to convert its factories toward electric vehicle production.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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