Department of Defense Requests Supply Chain Comments

October 07, 2021

Shortly after taking office, President Biden promulgated Executive Order 14017, “America’s Supply Chains.” Among its provisions were instructions that certain agencies prepare one-year reports on specific industrial bases, with the ultimate objective of securing and strengthening American supply chains. A final report should be issued by the White House on February 24, 2022.

On September 28, 2021, the U.S. Department of Defense (“DOD”) requested comments from interested parties for use in preparing DOD’s report on American defense supply chains. DOD is focusing its report on the following four sectors:

  1. Castings and Forgings;
  2. Microelectronics;
  3. Energy storage/batteries, including those used in kinetic capabilities and other defense-unique requirements; and
  4. Select kinetic capabilities, including precision guided munitions, hypersonics, directed energy, and components such as critical energetics and microelectronics.

Parties have until October 13, 2021, to submit comments, which may include confidential information. DOD has requested that commenters frame their submissions as addressing one or more of the following six questions:

  1. From your perspective, how has the globalization of the supply chain improved or complicated your ability to source DoD’s requirements?
  2. What are the one or two greatest challenges your firm/association/industry faces operating in a distributed environment?
  3. Are there ways DoD can better support your efforts to mitigate such challenges?
  4. How does the federal government effectively mitigate supply chain risks?
  5. What can the government do differently to better address supply chain risks and vulnerabilities in our major weapon systems/platforms (e.g., PGMs) and critical components (e.g., microelectronics)?
  6. What can the government do differently to successfully implement industrial base cybersecurity processes or protocols, attract skilled labor, implement standards, and incentivize the adoption of manufacturing technology?

Firms and companies in these sectors should strongly consider filing comments with DOD to advise the Administration on the supply chain. Such reports have frequently been used by the Executive Branch to make decisions to restrict or expand international trade.

Comments can be filed under Docket No. DoD–2021–OS–0100.