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Taiwan 'important partner' in securing US supply chains: White House

Taiwan cited as key partner as Biden signs executive order on critical supply chains

President Joe Biden (Instagram, joebiden photo)

President Joe Biden (Instagram, joebiden photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A White House official on Wednesday (Feb. 24) described Taiwan as an "important partner" in securing critical supply chains for the U.S.

On Wednesday, Biden signed an executive order calling for a 100-day review of critical supply chains with the objective of ensuring the supply of essential goods and services in the event of a crisis. When discussing the issue with a bipartisan group of House and Senate members, Biden said that the pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in the U.S.' supply chains such as the lack of personal protective equipment, critical drug ingredients, and most recently, semiconductors for cars.

Biden's executive order calls for a review of four categories of products that American manufacturers rely heavily on: imports, including semiconductors; large-capacity batteries; pharmaceuticals and their active ingredients; and critical minerals and strategic materials, such as rare earth elements. The order also requires six sector-specific reviews that must be completed within one year, targeted at defense, public health and biological preparedness, information and communications technology, transportation, energy, and food production.

The aim of the order is to bolster American manufacturing in these areas to insulate the country from shortages in future global disasters and emergencies. During a press briefing that day, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that a key component of this strategy will be to work with "partners and allies to reduce these vulnerabilities that are affecting all of us."

When asked how Taiwan has responded to requests to help boost semiconductor production, Peter Harrell, senior director of International Economics and Competitiveness at the National Security Council, said that he could not divulge the details of communication with Taiwanese officials on the matter. However, he did emphasize that, "Clearly, Taiwan is an important partner of the United States," and described the discussions with his Taiwanese counterparts as "constructive."

Updated : 2021-04-22 04:41 GMT+08:00