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US facing supply chain crisis or opportunity?

August 17, 2022Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

Editors Note: This is a guest column that ran Aug. 14 in the Sunday edition for the Abilene Reporter-News. To view the PDF,  click here.

From the global pandemic to the ongoing war in Ukraine to Chinese threats to Taiwan, the United States faces an unprecedented supply chain crisis that continues to not only hurt our national economy but imperil our national security and create shortages of everyday products for Americans and businesses.

Semiconductors used to power our most basic technology are in short supply. Car prices are skyrocketing due the lack of computer chips available to produce new vehicles. Everyday Americans are feeling the consequences of American manufacturing moving overseas over the past several decades.

As Governor Abbott pointed out in a recent Fox Business interview, “The country made a mistake over the past one or two decades to farm out manufacturing of all these essential supplies whether it be now semiconductors or healthcare supplies that we needed during the time of COVID … We need to not depend upon China or other countries for our essential needs.”

The Abilene Chamber of Commerce agrees.

And that is why when a company has a choice between investing in Texas or anywhere else, we must ensure they always choose Texas. The Lone Star State must never be reliant on another country, particularly an adversary for basic or advanced technological needs.

Texas is a unique state that offers an abundance of oil, quality of life amenities, and cutting-edge technology to ensure we’re proud local producers of the necessities Texans and Americans need for everyday life.

That is why it is important to incentivize the next wave of manufacturing, energy production, and the strategic production of everyday goods here, on our own soil.

During the next legislative session, our lawmakers have an incredible opportunity to develop a new, modern, and transparent economic development program that can help to solve the supply chain and shortage crisis, all while creating new capital investments in our communities, giving our children greater opportunities and local schools additional resources. A program to attract investment to Texas can incentivize further grid reliability, energy security and production of everyday goods in our own backyard.

One of Texas’ previous economic development programs, known as Chapter 313, is expiring at the end of the year. Now is the time for a fresh start and for new ideas to create opportunities for our communities and cement our economic independence.

And time is of the essence.

Other states and nations are competing fiercely to land large projects like Great Lakes Cheese, Lancium and Primal Pet Group. Competitive incentives were instrumental in Texas winning these projects and we have a unique opportunity to develop a new economic development program to remain in the game.

Reclaiming global manufacturing dominance is imperative to our national security, our supply chain, and our energy security. And as the nation’s economic leader, that work starts here, in Texas.

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