President Joe Biden’s administration is setting up a “supply chain trade strike force” focused on shoring up U.S. supply chains that are overly reliant on foreign nations, particularly China, Reuters reported Tuesday.
The U.S. trade representative will reportedly lead the strike force, focusing on a number of key industries such as semiconductors and electric vehicle batteries. The move is Biden’s latest action in his campaign to counter China’s growth on the global stage. (RELATED: Biden To Sign Order Protecting US Manufacturing As Carrier Strike Group Enters South China Sea)
“Semiconductors are the building blocks that underpin so much of our economy, and are essential to our national security, our economic competitiveness, and our daily lives,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told Reuters in a statement. Raimondo is expected to unveil the force at the White House on Tuesday.
Biden has framed the struggle between the U.S. and China as one that will determine whether democracy or autocracy will lead the world into the future. He has ordered several areas of the federal government to restructure with the goal of countering a modern China, including the U.S. military.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan met with their Chinese counterparts in Anchorage, Alaska, in the new administration’s first major meeting with China. The pair laid out all of the “deep concerns” that the U.S. has about the communist country, while China countered with dramatic speeches about police brutality in the U.S.
Biden’s administration is also focused on alleviating supply shortages in the construction industry — among others — as soaring lumber prices have recently sparked alarm over inflation in the U.S. economy.
“In the coming weeks, my administration will take steps to combat these supply pressures, starting with the construction materials and transportation bottlenecks, and building off the work we’re doing on computer chips,” Biden said in Ohio last week.