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US President Joe Biden speaks about strengthening US ports and supply chains after the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association finalized a new contract covering west coast ports, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on September 6, 2023.

Jim Watson | Afp | Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Monday will convene the first meeting of his supply chain resilience council, using the event to announce 30 actions to improve access to medicine and needed economic data and other programs tied to the production and shipment of goods.

“We’re determined to keep working to bring down prices for American consumers and ensure the resilience of our supply chains for the future,” said Lael Brainard, director of the White House National Economic Council and a co-chair of the new supply chain council.

The announcement comes after supply chain problems fueled higher inflation as the United States recovered from the coronavirus pandemic in 2021. While consumer prices are down from last year’s peaks, polling shows that inflation remains a political challenge for Biden going into the 2024 presidential election.

Among the 30 new actions, Biden, a Democrat, will use the Defense Production Act to have the Health and Human Services Department invest in the domestic manufacturing of needed medicines that are deemed crucial for national security. The Cabinet agency has identified $35 million to invest in the production of materials for injectable medicines.

The federal government will also improve its ability to monitor supply chains through the sharing of data among agencies. The Commerce Department has developed new tools to assess risks to the supply chain and has partnered with the Energy Department on the supply of renewable energy resources. Shipping companies are beginning to use new data resources from the Transportation Department on freight logistics.

Besides Brainard, the council will be co-chaired by Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser. Other members include heads of Cabinet departments, the U.S. trade representative, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and the directors of National Intelligence, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

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