Like many in the trucking industry, STC has been closely monitoring the chip shortage that has impacted the availability of trucks and safety technologies, including ELDs. Many have pointed to the $350 Billion America COMPETES Act, which the US House of Representatives passed in late January, as progress toward securing more US semiconductor manufacturing in the future. What was under-reported, however, was the proposed establishment of a new office within the Department of Commerce. Here’s the scoop on a new office aimed at supply chain resiliency.
Division C of the COMPETES Act aims to “strengthen our economy and national security by preventing shortages of critical goods and ensuring these goods are made right here in the United States.” It proposes to do this, in part, by giving this new office a broad mandate to monitor the supply chain to prevent shortages of goods that could imperil security and the economy. The office is also charged with mapping the supply chain to designate critical industries and goods critical to our economy and to produce quadrennial reviews detailing its findings.
The Senate, for its part, this past June passed the $250 Billion Innovation and Competition Act. Once the Senate and House conference on these Bills, STC hopes that with the enacted law, government doesn’t forget about those that deliver goods in high demand. Even if this legislation can successfully boost US production of semiconductor chips, we’ll need trucks do deliver them. If we don’t stay focused on the fundamental supply chain challenges that have been exacerbated by COVID, we’ll never be ready for the next major disruption.