BIDEN ORDERS REVIEW OF U.S. SUPPLY CHAIN TO LESSEN RELIANCE ON CHINA
President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday, February 25, 2021, for a 100-day review of global supply chains and potential US vulnerabilities in key industries including computer chips, electric vehicle batteries, pharmaceuticals and critical minerals used in electronics.
"We shouldn't have to rely on a foreign country, especially one that doesn't share interests or values, in order to protect and provide our people during a national emergency," Biden said.
It comes as American automakers grapple with a shortage of semiconductors, critical elements in navigation and entertainment systems in modern vehicles, Patsy Widakuswara reported for GlobalSecurity.org. On top of the 100-day review of the four key industries, Biden's order will also direct yearlong reviews for six sectors: defense, public health, information technology, transportation, energy and food production.
China is reportedly looking into curbing exports of rare earth minerals that are crucial to US defense contractors that manufacture military weaponry.
China is the world's dominant producer of rare earths, a group of 17 minerals used in electric vehicles, consumer electronics and military equipment.
"While we call them rare earths as a share of the Earth's crust, they're not particularly rare," said Miller pointing to a US Geological Survey report of American states that have rare earth mineral deposits.
China dismissed efforts to shift US supply chains toward alternative sources as unrealistic, hitting back hours after President Joe Biden signed an order to review how America buys strategic goods, Lucille Liu, Jenny Leonard, and Jennifer Jacobs reported for Bloomberg.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made the remarks Thursday in response to a question about the order, which will cover chips along with large-capacity batteries, pharmaceuticals and critical minerals and strategic materials like rare earths.
Zhao said such measures “will not help solve domestic problems” and only harm global trade.
“China believes that artificial efforts to shift these chains and to decouple are not realistic,” Zhao told a regular news briefing in Beijing. “We hope the U.S. will earnestly respect market laws and free trade rules and uphold the safety and reliability and stability of global supply chains.”