Former Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a proposal on Tuesday to “rebuild” America’s supply chain infrastructure, with an explicit focus on preventing future shortages of vital medical equipment.
Biden, fresh off promising to fundamentally “transform” the country if elected president, is proposing an overhaul of domestic manufacturing to combat how “dangerously dependent on foreign suppliers” the United States has become under the current administration.
“America needs a stronger, more resilient domestic supply chain,” the former vice president’s plan reads, elaborating the goal needs to be “not pure self-sufficiency, but broad-based resilience.”
As such, Biden’s plan proposes using “the full power of the federal government to rebuild ” and increase domestic production of critical supplies, the end goal being that the U.S. would not have to rely on foreign countries, especially China, for personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies in “future crises.”
The former vice president is promising to make the issue a top priority, should he win the general election. Upon taking office, according to the plan, Biden will issue a 100-day review of “critical national security risks” in America’s supply chain infrastructure, while simultaneously asking Congress to mandate that similar reviews take place every four years henceforth.
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the former vice president has been critical of Trump’s handling of the crisis. Initially, Biden pushed the president to invoke the Defense Production Act to bolster the nation’s supply of ventilators, PPE, and other medical equipment. Although Trump did invoke the act in March, the former vice president has claimed the administration is “dragging its feet” on imposing production quotas.
Biden’s plan comes one day after the New York Times reported China was readying its production capabilities to “dominate” medical supply manufacturing for years to come.
China has “increased mask production nearly 12-fold in February alone,” the outlet noted. “It can now make 150 tons per day of the specialized fabric used for masks.”