WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today participated in a hearing to consider the challenges to the U.S. economy, especially manufacturers, as a result of supply chain interruptions. These problems have persisted despite the return of demand for products and services after the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his opening remarks, Wicker highlighted the significant decline of American manufacturing capacity and the risk it posed to U.S. supply chains.
“As global competition has increased, control over our supply chains has fallen into the hands of fewer and fewer countries, most notably China,” Wicker said. “Such geographic concentration of supply chains has left many U.S. companies vulnerable to disruption – something we’re now acutely experiencing.”
Wicker pointed to actions by the committee to strengthen U.S. supply chains, including through the recent bipartisan United States Innovation and Competition Act.
Wicker invited Mississippi business leader William “Lex” Taylor III of Louisville, Miss., to testify at the hearing. Taylor is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Taylor Group of Companies, Inc. He has also served in multiple economic development roles in Mississippi, including as Chair of the Mississippi Economic Council for 2019-2020.
Taylor discussed how his companies, which manufacture a variety of heavy industrial equipment for the private sector and the U.S. military, have seen costs skyrocket for transportation and sourcing of key components, if they are available at all. The extra costs and extended delays have spread throughout much of the U.S. manufacturing base.
“The supply chain is very interwoven and the companies within it depend on each other to keep industry and thus the wider economy going,” Taylor said. “The supply chain is a disaster, it’s in disarray. That’s why we’re here. Delays in deliveries have forced manufacturers like Taylor to resort to unorthodox and expedited methods of getting critical supplies. This situation is causing inflation to run rampant throughout the supply chain.”
Taylor asked the committee to be cautious moving forward. Industry leaders have shared their concern that the federal government may create problems for industry as it seeks to remedy issues in the supply chain.
“My request to this committee is not to overreact with solutions that may cause unintended consequences. Rather, I encourage you to support the free-market system and allow it to do what it does best and find solutions that are practical and driven by the private sector,” Taylor concluded.
To download video of the hearing, click here.
To watch Senator Wicker’s opening statement, click here.
To watch video of Taylor’s opening statement, click here.
To watch video of Senator Wicker’s questions to the panel of witnesses, click here.