Commerce Department Creates Supply Chain Committee

Advisory group to help develop freight policy and rapport between government and industry.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Commerce Department established a new committee on Friday aimed at improving the supply chain in the U.S. as part of its Made in America push and initiative to double exports by the end of 2014.

The freight transportation network in the U.S. serves over 7.5 million businesses and carries 13 billion tons of raw materials and finished goods annually between factories and retail establishments, according to Commerce.

The Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness, comprised of 40 senior level, private sector executives, will advise the Commerce Secretary on supply chain issues in the U.S. that affect their competitiveness.

Rick Gabrielson, director of international transportation at Target Corp., was one of 40 supply chain experts appointed by the acting Commerce Secretary to sit on the committee. Executives from Hewlett-Packard Co., Office Depot Inc., Campbell Soup Co., General Electric Co. and Bechtel Corp. were also named to the committee.

“The Obama administration recognizes that in order to be competitive in today’s global economy, American manufacturers need to be able to move products and goods securely, quickly and efficiently within our borders and beyond,” said Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. “The Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness will provide crucial input on issues related to national freight infrastructure and policies so that we can best support millions of U.S. businesses, export goods, compete domestically and globally, and support American jobs.”

The committee will act as a liaison between industry and government, including the Department of Transportation, in addition to Commerce. Its input is intended to help develop a national freight policy, which many supply chain experts have been pressing for years, and help ease burdens on U.S. exporters.