- The Biden administration Tuesday announced key findings from an executive order focused on the country's supply chain woes and outlined immediate actions it will take "to strengthen American supply chains to promote economic security, national security and good-paying, union jobs here at home."
- Included in the announcement is the establishment of a supply chain disruptions task force to address bottlenecks in homebuilding and construction, semiconductors, transportation and agriculture. The group will be charged with developing public and private solutions that could help alleviate supply constraints.
- The White House released the 250-page report as multiple industries face shortages due to supply chain issues caused by a combination of high demand and pandemic-related disruptions. The report provides a series of recommendations on where and how the U.S. can build up domestic capacity.
The review was mainly tasked with focusing on four key sectors: pharmaceuticals, semiconductor chips, large capacity batteries and critical minerals. It also suggested that the administration work with the industry and labor to empower workers to find quality jobs, with the "free and fair choice to join a union."
In response, the Associated General Contractors of America released a statement saying that many of the report's proposals would worsen workforce problems while ignoring "the most promising solutions."
"The construction industry is experiencing widespread and growing problems with the cost and supply of materials,"AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr said in the statement. "These challenges will make it more costly and difficult to achieve the administration’s goals for infrastructure, renewable energy and affordable housing."
Sandherr said President Joe Biden could provide immediate relief for the sky-high prices of materials, such as lumber, steel and aluminum, with the removal of tariffs and quotas.
The cost of many building materials have skyrocketed this year. For instance, lumber futures contracts for May delivery hit $1,645 per 1,000 board feet, up about 60% from a month ago, and 374% over the last year. Those prices have added $12,966 to the value of an average new multifamily home and $119 a month in rent to new apartments.