Speeding up supply chains starts with supporting Ohio manufacturers


By Sen. Sherrod Brown

Contributing columnist

As we begin the holiday season, and Ohioans are hoping their thoughtful gifts will arrive on time and are tracking down ingredients for family recipes, it’s critical that we take steps to strengthen and speed up our supply chains.

Over the last few months, we’ve seen supply chain disruptions all over the country and around the world. There are many different and interconnected causes for these disruptions, including the pandemic and bottlenecks at ports and other key infrastructure.

It’s frustrating for consumers – people don’t have the time to go to five different stores trying to find what they need for Thanksgiving dinner, and they shouldn’t have to wait weeks or months for their medications, or their child’s sports equipment.

And it’s costly for businesses – a delay in just one input can put a company far behind on filling orders, or force them to redesign production.

It’s why I introduced the Supply Chain Resiliency Act. This bill would help ease supply chain bottlenecks, both now and in the future, and it would invest in American manufacturers to decrease our reliance on long, international supply chains.

The bill would create an Office of Supply Chain Resiliency at the Commerce Department. This new office would monitor, research, and address vulnerable supply chains. The office will also provide loans, loan guarantees, and grants to small and medium manufacturers, so they can expand production in the U.S. and prevent the kind of bottlenecks we’re seeing right now.

For example, a manufacturer that is unable to meet the increased demand for its products could get a low-interest loan from the Office of Supply Chain Resiliency to expand production.

There is no reason American businesses should have to wait on key inputs like semiconductors or medical equipment from China, or any other country on the other side of the world, when we have so much manufacturing talent here in Ohio.

And with our economy recovering with strong job growth and strong consumer demand, we have to make sure our domestic industries have the support and supplies they need to keep up. That’s what our bill will work to do.

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