The pandemic exposed the fragility of our global supply chains and how vulnerable they are to disruption. A more regionalized model would create greater flexibility and speed, allowing companies to be more nimble when problems arise.
The backlogs of ships at the ports, the overseas logistics delays, and the subsequent supply chain snarls of the past two years have been covered ad nauseam. But while issues at U.S. ports are beginning to stabilize, the pandemic has revealed an even bigger issue that has yet to be resolved: our overdependence on an overseas supply network and a lack of visibility into where our goods and materials are sourced. We believe the pandemic has revealed the risks of a globalized supply chain and the need to start shifting to a more regionalized sourcing model.
There’s a host of compelling reasons why business leaders must act now to start making this shift—from national security to the health and safety of medically vulnerable Americans to sustainability. It’s time to start restructuring our supply chains so that we are sourcing more from our allies and democratic countries, especially those in the Americas. Indeed, the Biden administration has set a goal of making critical sectors of the U.S. economy less dependent on China. For the U.S., this endeavor will require public-private partnerships and hundreds of billions in government investments, subsidies, incentives, and sourcing mandates. It will also require us to leverage our neighbors to the north and south and set up manufacturing and logistics capabilities across the Americas.