November 04, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, global tech trade association ITI offered recommendations to the U.S. government around how to strengthen the resilience of global information and communication technologies (ICT) supply chains. In comments to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Request for Public Comments on Risks in the ICT Supply Chain, ITI encouraged the U.S. government to develop a whole-of-government approach to supply chain security and resiliency and consider both short-term and long-term efforts to foster a more robust U.S. and allied ICT ecosystem.

“Of paramount importance to ITI and its member companies is our shared commitment to address risks to global information and communications technology supply chains and national security more broadly,” ITI wrote in its submission. “We believe that ICT supply chain resiliency can be enhanced through targeted policy measures aimed at incentivizing R&D, developing the domestic workforce, working with partners and allies, and streamlining supply chain security policymaking, among other things.”

In its submission, ITI offered insights on critical ICT components, as well as potential risks to those components, while also offering a series of policy recommendations, including:

  • Make investing in critical technologies a national priority. ITI encourages the U.S. government to incentivize the construction of new and modernized manufacturing facilities and invest in research capabilities and elevate such investment to a national priority.

  • Avoid the wholesale repatriation of supply chains. Policymakers should seek to leverage existing global ICT supply chains to manage risks associated with concentration of manufacturing production and enable diversification, focusing investment on certain paramount capabilities as opposed to seeking to move entire ICT supply chains back to the United States.

  • Continue to build and leverage robust public-private partnerships to address ICT supply chain challenges. ITI encourages the administration to work with industry to develop a coherent, streamlined, and effective long-term approach to address ICT supply chain issues in a coordinated and holistic manner.

  • Strengthen the technology workforce and develop advanced manufacturing capabilities across the ICT industrial base. Policymakers should seek to increase funding for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and computer science education, advance legislative proposals for immigration reforms, and adopt other measures that help prepare the domestic workforce and attract the best talent from around the world to complement the U.S. workforce.

  • Enhance cooperation with global partners. ITI supports increased bilateral, regional, and multilateral engagement with partner economies to deepen trade and investment relationships, including efforts to organize tech-sector specific dialogues, increase digital trade partnerships, and enhance regulatory compatibility and reduce barriers to trade.

  • Develop investment tax credits similar to those offered in the FABS Act for other ICT components and/or final ICT assembly. ITI supports developing tax credits similar to those offered within the FABS Act for discrete or critical ICT products to promote manufacturing in the United States.

  • Address negative impacts of tariffs, including China Section 301. Policymakers should consider developing an exemption process that allows for the reduction and/or removal of tariffs that negatively impact the ability of U.S. producers to reliably develop ICT products.

  • Ensure the introduction of new domestic preferences in USG procurement does not undermine the efforts being taken under EO 14017 to promote the resiliency and benefits associated with global supply chains. Overly restrictive U.S. federal procurement requirements will undermine and limit the ability of companies to participate in the global commercial and foreign government procurement marketplaces and hamper U.S. competitiveness.

  • Move quickly to fund the CHIPS for America Act. ITI encourages Congress to take prompt action to fund the “Creating Helpful Incentives for the Production of Semiconductors” (CHIPS) for America Act and enact a strengthened version of the “Facilitating American Built Semiconductors” (FABS) Act to include an investment tax credit for both design and manufacturing.

  • Streamline supply chain security policymaking activity. Given the patchwork of existing supply chain security policy measures and work being undertaken across the federal government, ITI encourages the USG to streamline these activities. One way to do this would be via designating a lead agency responsible for supply chain security risk management.

Read the full recommendations here.

Public Policy Tags: Cybersecurity, Public Sector