Axne grapples with supply chains, boosts U.S. competitiveness

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Rep. Cindy Axne represents Iowa's Third Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She can be reached at 202-225-5476.

Supply-chain bottlenecks are hurting our businesses, raising prices for Iowa families and highlighting decades of underinvestment in making more critical goods here at home.

That’s why I have spent the last several months pushing my colleagues in Congress to consider bills on my Supply Chain Solutions Agenda — commonsense solutions that will alleviate the stress that the surging demand for goods has put on our supply chains and, in turn, lower costs for Iowa families feeling the effects of inflation.

This week I succeeded in getting the House to vote to advance landmark legislation that will help lower prices, solve supply chain issues, boost American manufacturing and create good-paying jobs for Iowans.

The America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology and Economic Strength (America COMPETES) Act of 2022 will enable us to make more critical goods right here at home. The bill will invest in places where supply-chain disruptions are hurting Iowa families the most and take steps to ensure that American workers and industries can compete in the global economy.

It will also focus directly on making sure Iowans have the skills they need to fill the good-paying jobs that we are already creating at a record pace as well as the ones that will be created by additional investments in infrastructure and American manufacturing.

This legislation takes aim at some specific issues that are currently causing large disruptions in our supply chains.

For example, there is a global shortage of semiconductors — the chips that are critical to the production of cars, computers and other electronic goods. That shortage has occurred in part because the vast majority of semiconductor production takes place overseas,  meaning we are extremely reliant on places like Taiwan even when we’re making American cars.

In fact, semiconductor shortages have been so disruptive to car manufacturing that the rising cost of buying a car accounted for a full one-third of the overall increase in inflation measured last year.

The America COMPETES Act includes $52 billion to support American semiconductor manufacturing and research to fix that problem. If manufacturers make more semiconductors on American soil, we won’t be as reliant on imports to make cars in America.

This legislation also helps ensure these types of shortages don’t happen again by authorizing $45 billion that will go toward funding the new Office of Supply Chain Resiliency and Crisis Response, which will be tasked with assessing and improving supply chains and supporting the manufacturing of critical goods.

This office — which I proposed creating under my own Supply Chain Resiliency Act earlier this year — would aim to support domestic manufacturers that make critical goods here at home that are essential to healthy supply chains and would help them expand production.

And by investing in American companies that make everything from electronics to metalworks and plastics, we create jobs for folks here at home, lower the cost of goods and reduce our reliance on goods from other countries.

While these solutions take definite steps toward addressing our supply chain needs, we also need to have workers to fill the new jobs that will come with these investments in American manufacturing.

That’s why the America COMPETES Act of 2022 adds nearly 1 million new apprenticeships by reauthorizing the National Apprenticeship Act.

I already voted with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to advance the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 early last year, which would invest more than $3.5 billion by 2026 to expand apprenticeship opportunities.

These apprenticeship opportunities, which often pay folks while they are getting trained, will provide Iowans with a direct path to a good-paying job without the financial burdens that can come with a college degree.

This bill, combined with the other provisions in the America COMPETES Act, will provide economic opportunity and hands-on training that allows every Iowan to compete in the 21st century and provide for their families while closing critical gaps in our supply chains.

I continue to hear from constituents who are concerned about rising prices, and this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to set the course for our future by ensuring our economy is more resilient.

This legislation will promote job creation, reduce inflation and ensure America’s farmers, workers, ranchers, manufacturers and businesses can compete on a level playing field with China and other nations.

Ensuring that our economy is working for Iowa is my number one concern in Congress, and this bill delivers on that agenda for every working family in Iowa.

Rep. Cindy Axne of West Des Moines represents Iowa’s Third Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She can be reached at 202-225-5476.

1 COMMENT

  1. I applaud Rep. Axne’s initiative for bringing new jobs to Iowa, but don’t be too eager to bring semiconductor manufacturing here. Chip fabrication plants have little to do with electronics and require very few employees to run them. The fewer people, the better, with the goal being lights out with no workers at all.

    They are chemical plants that use the purest, most potent and lethal chemicals available. Intel had gas masks and emergency stations everywhere in the facilities. Just nasty. When I worked for them in Chandler, Arizona, they maintained an alfalfa field next to the fab. The would graze sheep there and use the sheep to test for long-term chemical contamination. Let Arizona keep the chip plants.

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