The Consumer Brands Association said it supported the passage of some of the supply chain provisions in last month’s 2023 government spending package.
The $1.7 trillion funding bill, the last major legislation passed by the 117th Congress, included money to support federal policies that the CBA has advocated for to strengthen supply chains and complement industry efforts to bolster supply chain resiliency, the association said.
Included in the bill is funding for the Department of Transportation’s new Multimodal Freight Office, which oversees supply chain policy, focuses on improving security, efficiency and resiliency and applies private sector expertise and insights to federal supply chain efforts. This includes initiatives such as the recently launched Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW), a program allows the DOT to leverage data sharing at key nodes in the supply chain.
This offers more visibility and deeper understanding of “pinch points” and critical performance areas, the CBA said.
“We must continue investing in FLOW, so we can hit the ground running upon the eventual establishment of a national freight data portal that will integrate all collected information to maximize efficiency – a program akin to Waze for supply chains,” Tom Madrecki, VP of supply chain and logistics, CBA, wrote in a recent blog post.
In addition, the spending bill provides funding for the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration and Bureau of Economic Analysis to analyze supply chain data, map supply chains, address vulnerabilities and proactively develop policy tools to strengthen the economy and preserve the availability and affordability of essential goods and services, according to the CBA.
“The new funding levels should expand agencies’ ability to address supply chain challenges and lay the groundwork for much-needed supply chain mapping, performance assessment, data-sharing and operational efficiency initiatives,” said Madrecki. “It’s critical that we never take supply chains for granted, but instead look for ways to proactively expand national competitiveness and the capability to withstand disruptions in coordination between the public and private sectors.”
The CBA has previously called for the creation of a new office of supply chain in the federal government to lead the development of “sound public policy, monitor its implementation and assess its results.”
“We’re hopeful this step in the right direction will serve as an impetus to enact additional policies that will further strengthen our supply chains and look forward to continuing our work with Congress and the administration to deliver consumers the products they rely on every day,” Madrecki said.
The 2023 federal budget also includes investments in infrastructure, such as passenger and freight railway improvements, beyond those included in the previously passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.