On Tuesday, May 19th the U.S. Chamber of Commerce held a webinar on Protecting Supply Chains During Coronavirus. The webinar featured a series of panelists discussing the future of supply chains, safeguarding medical supply chains, and DHS efforts to manage the crisis.
The first panel featured representatives from the trade industry discussing methods for supporting transportation and logistics providers as well as ports and border agencies throughout the crisis. Panelists discussed the need to reassess supply chain operations for a post-COVID future, considering options such as sourcing from multiple countries and domestic manufacturing of essential goods.
The second panel featured policy and trade experts in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industry. Each of them discussed the United States’ competitive position in medical device manufacturing and the challenges faced by manufacturers as the pandemic sparked an exponential increase in demand.
The panel concluded with a conversation between Suzanne Clark, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Wolf described current administration priorities, which included accelerating the acquisition of medical supplies from Asia, increasing onshoring of PPE, and conducting studies to better understand the virus. Wolf also addressed the need to pursue alternative sources of funding for fee-funded agencies, including USCIS, CBP, and ICE. Wolf also mentioned initiatives to combat counterfeit goods including fraudulent PPE, test kits, and internet scams.