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Biden releases plan to rebuild and protect supply chains for future pandemics

Biden releases plan to rebuild and protect supply chains for future pandemics
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Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE released a plan on Tuesday for ensuring the U.S. doesn’t face shortages of critical products, especially medical equipment, that could be needed during a crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic.

His plan focuses on products that, according to his campaign, the U.S. is too dependent on foreign suppliers for, including medical equipment as well as energy and grid resilience technologies, semiconductors, electronics, telecommunications infrastructure and raw materials.

“Under President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE, our supply chains have actually gotten less secure,” a senior Biden campaign official said on a call with reporters on Tuesday.

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The effort attacks what the Trump administration views as a strength of Trump's: his trade policy. President Trump often argues trade policies by the Obama administration and its predecessors led by both parties weakened U.S. supply chains. 

But the Biden campaign is taking that on, arguing that Trump's policies have made the U.S. weaker and that the coronavirus pandemic has underscored the problems.

Under the plan announced Tuesday, Biden would immediately initiate a 100-day review of the U.S. supply chains if he takes office in January and ask Congress to enact a supply chain review process so it takes place every four years, according to a senior campaign official. 

He would use the Defense Production Act to step up manufacturing of critical products, use federal purchasing power to bolster manufacturing and build long-term supply chain resilience for pharmaceuticals.

The campaign officials were critical of Trump for offshoring jobs and stressed that this plan puts Americans back to work. It also aims to create stock piles of supplies “so that the United States never again faces the kind of vulnerability it did in this crisis,” an official said.

The Trump campaign responded on Tuesday saying the president is fixing the policies of the Obama administration.

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“Bad Biden trade deals have shipped millions of manufacturing jobs overseas. Contrary to the Biden campaign’s false narrative, President Trump is taking bold action to secure the U.S. supply chain and fix the Obama/Biden policies that were leaving hard working Americans behind," Thea McDonald, deputy national press secretary, said in a statement.

"Joe Biden didn’t protect the American supply chain as vice president, and he won’t now,” she added.

The Biden campaign is set to release a strategy soon on how the former vice president plans to create jobs through manufacturing, campaign officials said Tuesday.

Updated at 7:46 p.m.