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22 February, 2022

Congress to Consider Bills Creating Public Supply Chain Database

22 February, 2022

Over the past two years, the global COVID-19 pandemic has created numerous challenges for the foodservice equipment supply industry. In recent months, supply chain disruptions have emerged as one of the most significant challenges to the industry. According to the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association, more than 90% of restaurants are paying higher food costs and 95% experienced supply delays in the last three months of 2021. Additionally, about 75% of restaurants have had to change their menus because of delays in receiving food items.

While supply chain disruptions are expected to continue for at least the first half of this year—if not into 2023—U.S. lawmakers are seeking solutions for both the near and longer terms. A bill introduced in Congress late last year is among supply chain legislation that could serve as a longer-term solution to address the problem. The National Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Supply Chain Database Act (S. 3290) would establish a national database designed to help streamline the U.S. supply chain.

The database could help minimize supply chain disruptions by providing the nation’s manufacturers with a national overview of the U.S supply chains network. The database would also serve as a repository of information about where products are produced in each state to help companies better coordinate retooling and/or resupplying when needed. As pointed out by the sponsoring senators, state lawmakers understood what was produced in their states when the COVID-19 pandemic ensued, but they were not aware of how dependent their in-state manufacturers were on out-of-state resources.

The legislation would utilize the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a public-private program operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to build the database. As an already existing partnership between the public and private sector that has established a network of manufacturing firms across the U.S., the Hollings MEP appears to be well-positioned to expedite the creation of the national supply chain database.

Legislation Overshadowed by Other Potential Fixes

Given the multi-factor breadth of the supply chain disruption, the legislation has not received much attention from the press or promotion from the manufacturing sector. Most people are focused on more immediate-term solutions such as unclogging port facilities, solving the nation’s truck driver shortage, and fixing international trade imbalances. Thus, the recently signed $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and the Biden Administration’s nascent moves to resolve international trading conflicts are getting the most attention.

That said, the supply chain database bill has received support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Small Manufacturers Association, and related groups. A recent PricewaterhousCoopers’ report on addressing supply chain disruption referenced supply chain “visibility” as a proactive solution for securing a longer-term fix for the nation’s supply chain. However, the professional services group did not specifically refer to the legislation.

Opposition to the bill has been raised by the National Taxpayers Union, which objects to the lack of offsets for the legislation’s authorization of $135 million to build the database.

Bill Has Bipartisan Support in Senate and House

Introduced by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and co-sponsored by Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), the bill has been referred to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Identical legislation—National MEP Supply Chain Database Act of 2021 (H.R. 6118)—was introduced in the House by Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA). It has been referred to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and was introduced with co-sponsorship by Rep. Charles J. Fleischmann (R-TN).

You can monitor the progress of the legislation through Congress at

Beedash Goes All-In for its FES Partners

Beedash is dedicated to delivering the best technological and digital marketing solutions to its FES clients. As your partner, Beedash keeps track of any business trends, legislation, or other factors that may impact the industry because our success depends on your success. Thus, we will continue to monitor the ongoing supply chain disruption and keep abreast of legislation and other government initiatives that may help ease the disruption and keep our partners’ foodservice equipment supplies flowing.

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