As the coronavirus epidemic continues to snarl global logistics patterns, lawmakers in the nation’s capitol have launched an initiative to cooperate on possible solutions by forming a bipartisan Congressional Supply Chain Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Interest groups often form Congressional caucuses in order to garner greater voting leverage for their platforms. While some of these focus on traditional political groups—such as the House Republican Caucus or the Senate Democratic Caucus—others focus on ethnic identity, such as the Congressional Black Caucus, or on specific focus areas like the Congressional Bike Caucus or the Senate Taiwan Caucus.
The newly dubbed supply chain caucus includes four founding members from both sides of the traditional political aisle: Reps. Colin Allred (D-Texas), Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), and David Rouzer (R-N.C.).
Together, they plan to serve as co-chairs and recruit additional members to work toward a goal to “strengthen and add resiliency to protect the delivery system, which can be severely harmed by geopolitical events such as the recent coronavirus outbreak that has had significant impacts on global supply chains,” the members said in a public statement.
That vision has won the support of the Consumer Brands Association, an Arlington, Virginia-based trade group representing the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, which it says accounts for one-fifth of total U.S. freight. According to that association, the caucus launch coincides with the coronavirus outbreak which is disrupting global supply chains and threatening access to the products upon which consumers depend.
“American consumers have billions of interactions with consumer packaged goods each day. Ensuring access and affordability of these products is a complex task, made more challenging by the emergence of coronavirus,” Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the Consumer Brands Association, said in a release. “Our industry is grateful for the bipartisan leadership of the co-chairs in recognizing the critical role supply chains play and the importance of streamlining them for the benefit of consumers.”
Thank you to @RepColinAllred, @RepAngieCraig, @RodneyDavis and @RepDavidRouzer. Smart, bipartisan solutions will allow Americans better access to products they need — when and where they need them. https://t.co/k6yBWapFKl #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/LIrFELarJE— Consumer Brands (@consumerbrands) March 5, 2020