Legislation from Ohio Senator would address supply chain disruptions

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Stores across the country are struggling to keep items on the shelves. Supply chain issues are making this difficult and workers tell us the logistics for the food industry are the most challenging they’ve ever seen.

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December 25 2021 12:00 am

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a news conference call on his Supply Chain Resiliency Act which would help ease supply chain bottlenecks now and in the future, and invest in American companies to decrease our reliance on long supply chains.

“There’s no reason American businesses should have to wait on key inputs like semiconductors or medical equipment from China, or other countries on the other side of the world, when we have so much manufacturing talent here in Ohio,” said Brown. “And with our economy recovering with strong job growth and strong consumer demand, we have to make sure our domestic industries have the support and supplies they need to keep up.”

Brown said disruptions in supply chains have had far-reaching impacts in Ohio, from bottlenecks in shipping and delivery to long delays in new home construction.

Brown says his Supply Chain Resiliency Act would create an Office of Supply Chain Resiliency at the Commerce Department. This new office would monitor, research, and address vulnerable supply chains. The office will also provide loans, loan guarantees, and grants to small and medium manufacturers, so they can expand production in the U.S. and prevent bottlenecks caused by long, vulnerable supply chains.

Brown was joined on the call by Ethan Karp, the President and CEO of the nonprofit Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET). MAGNET says they has been dramatically impacted by recent supply chain issues as the organization both consults with small and medium-sized Ohio manufacturers and also manufactures its own products.

“Our products have been delayed and we’ve had to even redesign some elements because we can’t get key components we need,” said Karp. “I think one thing that’s key to solving supply chain issues is to invest in domestic manufacturing so the supply chain of the future isn’t as long.”

Brown was also joined on the call by Elie Merheb, the President and CEO of Kent Adhesive Products Company – also called KAPCO. Merheb said his company continues to be adversely impacted by supply chain disruptions.

“We’ve seen prices for raw materials increase anywhere between 5 and 35 percent, and the lead times have doubled or even tripled due to supply chain issues,” said Merheb. “It’s a full-time job just to stay up to date on pricing and material availability.”

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