Jul 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden releases plan to strengthen coronavirus supply chain

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign released a three-part plan Tuesday to rebuild U.S. supply chains in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and it's centered around the idea that the country is more vulnerable to global disruptions in spite of President Trump's "America First" rhetoric.

Why it matters: Biden is proposing a way to make sure the U.S. doesn't rely on other countries for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other related medical supplies. That's another way of acknowledging that we're not getting over this health crisis anytime soon.

  • The campaign is also trying to use the plan as a way to argue that Trump's policies have weakened America's ability to produce supplies on its own for a public health emergency like the coronavirus.
  • The campaign said this is the first policy piece of a larger platform on manufacturing and innovation that they'll be releasing in the coming weeks.

The big picture: The plan addresses a shortage in medical supplies, but also calls for a broader reform of supply chains "across a range of critical products on which the U.S. is dangerously dependent on foreign suppliers," the policy paper says.

The plan calls for:

  • Increasing our domestic manufacturing capacity with a focus on supply chains for critical products and supplies.
  • Making the U.S. self-reliant on our own PPE so that we have what we need "for future crises and national security."
  • Working with global allies to expand U.S. exports and protect their supply chains.

What they're saying: The Biden plan argues that the president's policies have led to more offshoring and a manufacturing recession in the U.S.

  • The point of the plan is to make sure the United States has the capacity to produce the supplies it needs in a crisis on its own, a senior Biden campaign officials told reporters on a conference call.
  • Biden's plan, campaign officials said, is focused on re-investing in American workers and American manufacturing so that we're not dependent on countries like China, but also work with global allies to protect national security.
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