The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on “Implementing Supply Chain Resiliency,” on July 15, featuring Lex Taylor, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of AEM member company The Taylor Group.
Taylor outlined many of the challenges his company and our industry are facing due to ongoing supply chain interruptions. In his testimony, Taylor explained: “With thousands of parts and components that go into building our products, we are supported by approximately 430 vendors. These supply chain businesses are based all over the world and are critical for our ability to produce products and support our customers. In fact, some of these suppliers are also our customers. 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 also addressed steel shortages and soaring prices. “Steel is a major component of our products, both in the structure of our machines and the components within our machines. We are facing price increases weekly and, in some cases, every 24 hours due to lack of availability. So much of our supply, such as engines, transmissions, and sub-assemblies, come from overseas and container shortages have become a detriment to supply – particularly with the average cost per container currently at $18,000, up from $4,000 only 6 to 12 months ago.” These concerns are echoed by equipment manufacturers across the country.
AEM appreciates Chair Maria Cantwell’s (D-Wash.) comment that a robust supply chain in the United States means that we are going to continue to have robust employment in the United States and looks forward to working with her and her colleagues to increase the competitiveness of our supply chain and improve its resiliency for the future. Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), who introduced Taylor during the hearing, spoke about how the federal government can help equipment manufacturers by investing in R&D and workforce development to make sure new innovations are conceived and developed in the United States.
Taylor closed his remarks by encouraging the Committee to support the free-market system and allow it to do what it does best, finding solutions that are practical and driven by the private sector.
The ongoing supply chain disruptions and parts shortages continue to wreak havoc on our industry and make it very challenging for equipment manufacturers to take advantage of strong demand for their products. AEM has called on Congress and the White House to take all necessary steps to address this problem. The U.S. Senate recently passed the Endless Frontier Act, now known as the United States Innovation and Competition Act, and AEM is currently working with Democrats and Republicans in both chambers to advance additional legislation.
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