Biden to launch task force on bottlenecks in supply chains

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Biden Administration Expands Blacklist of Chinese Companies.The 'Wall Street Journal' reports that President Joe Biden expanded a prohibition on Americans investing in Chinese companies.adding more businesses to a blacklist that has angered Beijing and caused distress among investors.On Thursday, Biden signed an executive order which brings the total number of Chinese companies banned from receiving American investment to 59. .According to the 'WSJ,' the order shows the Biden administration's willingness to continue some of former President Trump's hard-line policies on China.Many of the companies added to the list are associated with major state-owned companies and other businesses named on the earlier blacklist. .Multiple companies tied to the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China......and two financing affiliates of Huawei Technologies were reportedly among those added to the list. .The order comes as the Biden administration conducts a broad review of its China policy.which reportedly includes what to do with tariffs and other trade measures put in place by former President Trump.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has completed a 100-day review of supply chains and will form a task force to address the bottlenecks in the semiconductor, construction, transportation and agriculture sectors.

Administration officials said their goal is to increase domestic manufacturing, limit shortages of vital goods and reduce a dependence on geopolitical competitors such as China. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss recommendations and policies in the 250-page review being released Tuesday, noting that the goal is to get ahead of crises such as the computer chip shortage that has hurt automakers this year.

A shortage of raw materials has made it harder for the U.S. economy to recover from the coronavirus pandemic-induced recession. The supply bottleneck has helped fuel a bout of inflation that the administration believes will be temporary, though it has provided Republican lawmakers and some economists with grounds for criticizing Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

The new task force will be led by the secretaries of Commerce, Agriculture and Transportation to focus on parts of the economy where there is a mismatch between supply and demand.

Besides the task force, the administration will take several other steps to bolster supply chains, with an effort spread across the government.

The Department of Health and Human Services will use the Defense Production Act to create a public-private partnership for manufacturing essential pharmaceutical drugs. It will also commit $60 million to increase the production of pharmaceutical ingredients.

The Energy Department will release a blueprint to develop supplies for lithium batteries, in addition to providing roughly $17 billion in loans for advanced batteries that would help shift the country to electric vehicles.

The Interior Department will create a working group to determine where critical minerals can be produced and processed in the United States. The Commerce Department plans to increase cooperation and investments within the semiconductor industry, while the Labor Department will announce $100 million in grants for state-led apprenticeship programs.

The U.S. Trade Representative will lead a strike force to target foreign competitors with unfair practices that have eroded supply chains. The Agriculture Department will spend more than $4 trillion to strengthen the supply chain for food.