Tip Sheets

White House supply chain council faces difficult task

Media Contact

Adam Allington

President Joe Biden has announced dozens of new policy initiatives designed to strengthen the U.S. supply chain and lower prices for inflation-weary Americans. On Monday, the first meeting of the new White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience announced 30 new policy initiatives aimed at shoring up economic sectors deemed critical to economic and national security.

Nick Fabrizio

Senior lecturer, Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy

Nick Fabrizio, senior lecturer in health policy at Cornell University, says the council has its work cut out for them as it’s very hard to anticipate what the population needs, how much to produce and how quickly products will arrive to consumers. 

Fabrizio says:

“It’s a classic supply and demand equation centered around logistics. If there is little demand, it really doesn’t matter how much of it you are producing and how quickly it arrives.

“The real benefit is to find out what the demand is and ensure that the production and delivery can meet that demand. If supply chains are stressed, it will be paramount to figure out how the government can help, where the free market cannot, to alleviate those bottlenecks.” 

Arthur Wheaton

Director of Labor Studies, ILR School

Art Wheaton serves as director of labor studies at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He says the announcement highlights the need to have guardrails in place to fight price gouging.

Wheaton says:

“The computer chip shortage and baby formula shortages spiked prices and caused massive disruption across the country the past few years. Implementation of the Defense Production Act could assist those folks in desperate need of injectable medicines.

“Coordinating the data among companies and government agencies could help assess the supply chain priorities and solutions. The supply chain disruptions were the cause and excuse for raising prices due to lower inventory of goods the past few years.”

Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.