Reps. Stevens and Balderson Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen U.S. Supply Chain Preparedness
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Haley Stevens (MI-11) and Congressman Troy Balderson (OH-12) introduced the bipartisan National Manufacturing Guard Act of 2021. This bill strengthens our country’s supply chain readiness to help American companies respond to future disruptions. A Senate companion bill of the same name was introduced by Senators Coons (D-Del.), Rubio (R-Fla.), Hassan (D-NH) and Cornyn (R-TX).
“I am thrilled to introduce this bipartisan, bicameral bill with my colleagues in the House and Senate,” said Rep. Haley Stevens. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers in Michigan’s 11th District and across the country stepped up to meet the industrial call to action, retooling their production lines to make medical supplies that our doctors, nurses and essential workers desperately needed. However, we need to make sure that our supply chains are strengthened and protected against future supply chain emergencies.”
“Our over-reliance on foreign manufacturers for essential products and goods was on full display last year as companies and everyday Americans alike faced the harsh realities of back-orders and empty shelves,” said Rep.Troy Balderson. “With these challenges still fresh in our minds, now is the right time for a clear-eyed assessment of our supply chain vulnerabilities and to shore up wherever possible. This bipartisan legislation takes important first steps to ensure the resilience of the nation’s manufacturing workforce and supply chain infrastructure in the event of future emergencies.”
The National Manufacturing Guard Act of 2021 establishes an Office of Supply Chain Preparedness in the Department of Commerce that would be responsible for preparing for future crises that would threaten our ability to produce or obtain critical resources, such as personal protective equipment (PPE). The Office is equipped with the National Manufacturing Guard, a reserve force of manufacturing and supply chain experts. Members of the National Manufacturing Guard will train to increase the supply of critical resources in an emergency scenario, and can be activated to full-time service in a future emergency. The bill would also establish a Supply Chain Data Exchange, to enable the Department of Commerce to partner with private industry to gain insight into supply chain vulnerabilities, and a Manufacturing Corps, an apprenticeship program to bolster the manufacturing workforce with a particular focus on underrepresented groups.
The Office of Supply Chain Preparedness will be supported by a Supply Chain Advisory Council with representation from relevant government agencies, state and local governments, labor organizations, experts from industry and academia, the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership Centers, and the Manufacturing USA Institutes, groups who were all instrumental in managing the supply chain response to COVID-19. With input from these stakeholders, the Office will coordinate a collaborative all-of-America response towards our next crisis.
This legislation is endorsed by the American Small Manufacturers Coalition, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the National Defense Industrial Association, and Intelligent Manufacturing Systems International.