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Strengthening America’s Supply Chains

In an era of hyper-globalization, complex supply chains blanket the world, forming intricate webs between manufacturers, suppliers, shippers, retailers, consumers, government officials and other actors into a worldwide marketplace. This ceaseless flow of goods, services, and data is a defining characteristic of the modern age.

Highly efficient supply chains have ushered in and enabled unprecedented levels of consumption and wealth creation. However, they are increasingly subject to disruption and even catastrophic failure, particularly in the face of anomalous events such as cyber-attacks, security threats, global pandemics, technological innovation, and spikes in geopolitical tension.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, recent trade disputes, and increased great-power competition highlight risks specific to the supply chains of products crucial to national and economic security. These supply chains include, but are not limited to: critical minerals, advanced semiconductors, medical devices and equipment, electric vehicles, and other technologies key to the future of the green economy.

Thorough study and collaboration are necessary to find ways for governments, private industry, academia, and non-profit research centers to strengthen supply chains and mitigate their economic and national security risks. To this end, the Wilson Center has launched a stakeholder-focused dialogue process that will result in a series of reports on diverse sectors of the US economy. In addition, the Wilson Center will be working on the twin factors of governance and technology as tools to strengthen trust in US supply chains, and to counter the many threats that continue to exist in this area.

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The Importance of Supply Chains: What You Need to Know

In this edition of Wilson Center NOW we are joined by Duncan Wood, Vice President for Strategy & New Initiatives and Senior Advisor to the Wilson Center's Mexico Institute. He discusses the launch of a new stakeholder-focused dialogue process focusing on finding ways for governments, private industry, academia, and non-profit research centers to strengthen supply chains and mitigate their economic and national security risks.

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