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April 13 -- On February 24, 2021, President Biden issued E.O. 14017, “America's Supply Chains,” which focuses on the need for resilient, diverse, and secure supply chains to ensure U.S. economic prosperity and national security. Such supply chains are needed to address conditions that can reduce critical manufacturing capacity and the availability and integrity of critical goods, products, and services. In relevant part, E.O. 14017 directs that within 100 days, the Secretary of Defense (as the National Defense Stockpile Manager pursuant to the Strategic and Critical Materials Stock Piling Act (50 U.S.C. 98 et seq.)), in consultation with the heads of appropriate agencies, shall submit a report identifying risks in the supply chain for strategic and critical materials and policy recommendations to address these risks.

The Department of Defense (DoD) Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Industrial Policy) requests comments and information from the public by April 28, 2021 to assist the DoD in preparing the report required by E.O. 14017. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/04/13/2021-07539/notice-of-request-for-comments-on-executive-order-americas-supply-chains
 
The DoD is particularly interested in comments and information directed to the policy objectives listed in E.O. 14017 as they affect the U.S. and global supply chains for strategic and critical materials. The Department is seeking input, from both consumers and producers of strategic and critical materials and downstream products containing these materials, as well as from those with relevant expertise, on the following topics:

i. Increasing transparency in strategic and critical material supply chains;

ii. Diversifying sources of supply for strategic and critical materials, including domestic sources and foreign allies/partners;

iii. Diversifying production sources, such as primary extraction, co-production, and to include reclamation from mine, industrial, and end-of-life products;

iv. Promoting environmental, health and safety, labor, fair trade and a level playing field in global markets;

v. Establishing and strengthen manufacturing of value-added products, containing strategic and critical materials, which support the U.S. economy;

vi. Methods to reduce exposure to price volatility and supply shocks in strategic and critical material supply chains;

vii. Availability of material and manufacturing process substitutes for at-risk strategic and critical materials;

viii. The availability of skilled labor and other personnel to sustain a competitive strategic and critical materials ecosystem, including the domestic education and manufacturing workforce skills;

ix. The availability of manufacturing capabilities, such as single points of failure in supply chains or nonexistent, threatened, or single-point-of-failure capabilities, or single or dual suppliers;

x. The spectrum of risk to supply disruption, taking into account the duration (i.e., short, medium, long), geographic scope (local, regional, global), intensity (magnitude of aggregate supply disruption), ability to meet projected demand at a specific supply chain node, and the probability of the disruption event;

xi. The spectrum of risk to the development and maintenance of sustainable supply chains, such as violations of human rights and forced labor;

xii. Research, development, and demonstration priorities to support production or and an advanced manufacturing base for strategic and critical materials;

xiii. Policy recommendations or suggested executive, legislative, regulatory action to foster more resilient supply chains for strategic and critical materials while promoting stewardship of affected communities and the environment;

xiv. Recommendations for long term research, development and demonstration (RD&D) investments necessary for reimagining a more sustainable and secure US critical materials supply chain of the future; or

xv. Any additional comments relevant to the assessment of strategic and critical materials required by E.O. 14017.
 
Historical antecedent, 1790-1791:  

President George Washington, First Annual Message to Congress, January 8, 1790: A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined; to which end, a uniform and well digested plan is requisite: and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories, as tend to render them independent on others for essential, particularly for military supplies.

U.S. House of Representatives, Resolution, January 15, 1790:  Ordered, That it be referred to the Secretary of the Treasury to prepare and report to this House, a proper plan or plans, conformably to the recommendation of the President of the United States, in his speech to both Houses of Congress, for the encouragement and promotion of such manufactories as will tend to render the United States independent of other nations for essential, particularly for military supplies.
 
Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, "Report on Manufactures," December 5, 1791: The Secretary of the Treasury, in obedience to the Order of the House of Representatives  of the 15th day of January, 1790, has applied his attention, at as early a Period as his other duties would permit, to the subject of MANUFACTURES ; and particularly to the Means of promoting such as will tend to render the UNITED STATES independent on foreign Nations, for Military and other essential Supplies; and he thereupon respectfully submits the following Report.

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