How national security is being impacted by supply chain disruptions

The supply chain disruptions are impacting nearly every sector of agriculture, and groups are calling attention to how those disruptions could impact national security.

From port delays to skyrocketing input costs, lawmakers are looking for answers on how to protect the food supply chain.

Michigan Representative Elissa Slotkin says that the government should take more lessons from the private sector to identify supply chain weaknesses.

“First of all, transparency-- just know your vulnerabilities and come up with a corporate strategy to actually deal with supply chain issues, and then in particular, while I would love to bring all of that manufacturing back into the United States... it’s probably unreasonable to bring it all back,” Slotkin states.

With situations like China withholding exports of fertilizer and rare earth minerals needed to build computer chips, she says that it is becoming more important to identify other sources for materials.

“How do we think strategically with our allies about coalition shoring, making sure we aren’t just dependent on China,” she states. “Where’s India and other allies and how do we combine that buying power?”

Texas Representative Michael McCaul also says thatChina has been outpacing the U.S. in infrastructure and innovation investments.

“You compare it to the trillion that China is now investing in the digital economy... United States is all in to compete and I think long-term, it’s the investment tax credits that will give the certainty in the marketplace to these manufacturers,” McCaul explains.

He says that the solution should include bringing manufacturing back to the United States for critical supply chains: “The President signed an executive order to direct the Department of Defense to come up with a list of what supply chains are in the national interest and I think this model could really apply to all those.”

Farm state lawmakers have also introduced legislation that would ensure agriculture is included on that list, as well as bills like the FARM Act which would provide more oversight on Chinese investment in the food chain.


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