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Raimondo: Commerce’s ‘war room’ sees improvements in supply chain issues

” There is nothing else [that will fix supply chains], it became clear to me, ”said Raimondo. “So we have to do everything and all the things we do, marginally, will improve the problem.”

The group is analyzing data the Commerce Department requested in September from companies that produce and buy semiconductors, the microchips that power electronic devices ranging from smartphones to automobiles.

Raimondo said she is delighted that companies around the world have received information about their business transactions, which she says will give the administration a clearer insight into the often opaque questions about the number of chips bought and sold. .

“Semiconductors are like the water of the new economy, you can’t do anything without them. And there are huge vulnerabilities in the supply chain, ”said Raimondo. “So, in my opinion, we cannot devote enough time to it for reasons of national security and economic security. “

Raimondo has been a central figure in President Joe Biden’s response to the plethora of challenges in the country’s supply chain, including large backlogs at the country’s ports, which economists say are driving up prices. consumption and threaten to leave some store shelves empty this holiday season.

Raimondo devotes part of her day to solving supply chain issues and the global semiconductor shortage, she said. Her too speak weekly with National Economic Council Director Brian Deese as part of the larger White House Supply Chain Working Group.

Supply chain challenges, and semiconductors in particular, were also a constant topic during meetings with trade ministers and business leaders last week during Raimondo’s trip. to Asia which included stopovers in Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.

The Biden administration wants to negotiate an economic deal with trading partners in the Indo-Pacific region next year, and Raimondo said a key part of that deal will be mobilizing allies to strengthen global supply chains for semiconductors. and other critical products.

“It was clear to me that we needed a new kind of deal for a new economy that includes topics, particularly relevant after COVID, that are not traditionally included in free trade agreements, like chains of ‘supply, semiconductors and infrastructure,’ Raimondo mentioned. “And so, whatever the structure of this thing, these topics will be at the top of the list.”

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