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Biden Administration Embraces Rubio Approach to Securing America’s Supply Chain

Feb 24, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a statement on President Biden’s executive order aimed at securing America’s critical supply chains. In January, Rubio supported Biden’s willingness to use the Defense Production Act (DPA). Prior to the executive order, Rubio and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) urged the President to aggressively use the DPA to increase America’s capacity to produce semiconductors.
“I am glad to see the Biden Administration taking steps to secure America’s critical supply chains,” Rubio said. “Over the last several years, I have highlighted these critical vulnerabilities and worked with both the Trump Administration and my colleagues in Congress to begin addressing these vulnerabilities. I urge the Biden Administration to work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to secure these critical supply chains, bring jobs back to America, strengthen our national security, and revive our manufacturing and industrial capacity.”
The forthcoming executive order calls for a 100-day review across federal agencies to address vulnerabilities in three areas in which Rubio has introduced legislation and secured new laws. Specifically:
Pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). In February 2019, Rubio issued a report detailing critical vulnerabilities in America’s medical supply chain, warning, “the U.S. runs the risk of losing important components of its medical supply chain to China’s government-backed industry.” The original CARES Act which passed in March 2020 included a key Rubio provision to require drugmakers to provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with information to determine the volume of APIs used in pharmaceuticals. In December, Rubio secured the passage of the Strengthening America’s Supply Chain and National Security Act, which he introduced in March with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
Critical minerals, including rare earths. In February 2019, Rubio issued a report detailing critical vulnerabilities in America’s rare earth mineral supply chain. In July 2019, Rubio introduced the RE-Coop 21st Century Manufacturing Act, which would establish a privately funded, operated, and managed Rare Earth Metallurgy Cooperative responsible for coordinating the establishment of a fully integrated domestic rare earth value chain to serve U.S. national security interests and restore American competitiveness of critical advanced manufacturing industries. In a December 2019 speech at the National Defense University on “American Industrial Policy and the Rise of China,” Rubio outlined the threat that China’s global monopoly on the rare earth supply chain poses to U.S. national security, and the need for policymakers to act to increase our domestic capacity to mine and process rare-earth minerals. Most recently, in December 2020, Rubio urged the Trump Administration to provide a federal charter for a domestic Rare Earth Metallurgy Cooperative. The Biden Administration can and should exercise existing authorities to do this.
Semiconductors and Advanced Packaging. In February 2019, Rubio issued a report detailing critical vulnerabilities in America’s semiconductor supply chain. In August 2020, Rubio said it was “critical that we quickly establish the framework for American companies and the defense supply chain to ensure uninterrupted domestic access to the most advanced digital semiconductor technology.” In January 2021, the Rubio-backed Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act became law. The new law provides incentives for the investment in domestic facilities and equipment to manufacture and conduct research and development of semiconductors. These incentives will allow for the construction, expansion, or modernization of a facility involved in semiconductor manufacturing.