Today (October 31, 2021) the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Germany, Indonesia, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, and the United Kingdom met to discuss short-term supply chain disruptions and ways to long-term resilience. Safe, sustainable and resilient global supply chains are the basis for our economic prosperity, our national security and our collective interests. Countries have announced their intention to work together to strengthen the resilience of our supply chains – the global ecosystem of raw materials, intermediates, manufacturing, logistics, research and development that ensures our businesses and consumers get the products they need. Safe, sustainable and resilient supply chains require that we work in partnership not only as governments, but also with industry, trade unions and workers, civil society and international organizations. Whether responding to the acute shocks we are experiencing today in world trade, or tackling chronic long-term challenges in security-critical sectors, more resilient global supply chains are fundamental to sustainable economic development for all.
We discussed strengthening four main pillars of global supply chain resilience:
- Transparency: Improving transparency and the exchange of information between countries will help all countries to mitigate and respond to global shocks in the supply chain; This includes working with companies to understand their own weaknesses. Transparency of the supply chain with regard to raw materials, intermediate and finished products should be an important industrial value. Supply chain transparency promotes awareness of risks and potential bottlenecks, identifies bottlenecks, and helps companies determine whether alternative sources of critical inputs are needed. This kind of openness and communication can encourage quick response to supply chain disruptions – as the world currently has – and enable other actors within a supply chain to take remedial action. Transparency also enables consumers to make informed purchasing decisions and companies to serve their customers effectively. It is also a prerequisite for sustainable supply chain management.
Government transparency helps share information and insights about supply chain challenges and helps government to consider actions that could improve our shared supply chains. Promoting greater transparency in the supply chain, compatible standards and the exchange of information – in accordance with national laws – between countries can further mitigate and respond to global supply chain shocks. In recognition of these principles, our countries express their intention to work together to identify additional transparency measures and to work with the private sector on such measures. We also emphasize the importance of transparency in government actions to strengthen supply chain resilience.
- Diversity, openness and predictability: Open global markets are fundamental to supporting resilient supply chains. Countries have announced their intention to work together to ensure we have multiple reliable sources of raw materials, intermediates and finished goods, backed by resilient supply channels. We recognize that diversity on offer promotes an enduring global market where everyone has a role to play in promoting mutual benefit.
Diverse global providers not only promote resilience, but also networking and shared prosperity. We should avoid unnecessary trade restrictions and maintain the free movement of goods and services in line with the principles and objectives of the rules-based multilateral system and work together to remove existing restrictions that affect our collective supply chains. We should also promote competitive and dynamic supply chains that resist monopoly and offer alternative choices in materials, goods, and production and distribution. The diversity of supply also protects against acute economic vulnerability through the concentrated control of a single source and protects the ability of each country to make its own sovereign decisions, allowing governments, industry and communities to make their own decisions about the sources and supply of goods .
Predictability is important to reliable supply chains and we will work together to make our trading relationships more predictable as they affect our supply chains. We will strengthen and promote our longstanding economic partnerships and supply chain relationships.
- Safety: The countries discussed that security must be recognized as a high priority for all actors in supply chains, especially in technology supply chains, at critical infrastructure nodes and other points within the supply chain that must not fail. Fixing security vulnerabilities can prevent damage or disruption that disrupts critical systems or infrastructure, or add unnecessary costs, inefficient delivery schedules, the loss of intellectual property and goods, or the delivery of unauthorized or compromised products. It is important that governments work with industry to better understand and manage security risks to supply chains.
- Sustainability: Governments, industry and civil society should work together to promote and accelerate global sustainability goals, including the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and, where appropriate, international labor and workers’ agreements. Creating fair and sustainable working conditions strengthens our supply chains and leads to a more innovative, productive industry and greater shared prosperity. Harmful practices that violate international rules and standards should be eliminated from our supply chains and we require the implementation of business practices in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other relevant international guidelines as appropriate. Similarly, investing in and mainstreaming climate and environmental sustainability and developing clean energy supply chains is good business and policy as one of the main causes of supply chain disruptions is extreme weather events that have become worse and more common due to climate change and the Dependence of our economy on nature.
As partners in promoting secure and resilient supply chains, countries discussed working together and with the private sector to address critical supply chain challenges:
- Improving the exchange of information and transparency: Countries expressed their intention to expand their efforts to share information on potential, emerging and systemic supply chains
S.Challenges bilateral and multilateral so that we can work together to address them – including mechanisms to improve early warning of disruptions. We will seek to share best practices to address port congestion and current supply chain disruptions. This work is carried out in accordance with market principles.
- Sustainable development: Countries have expressed their intention to expand cooperation and exchange of information, and to consider co-investment in responsible access and development of key raw materials and inputs, and we will promote and support the sustainable manufacture and trade of products essential to the struggle international sustainability goals are required against climate change and others.
- Security of supply: Countries expressed their intention to consult each other to resolve potential bottlenecks and to cooperate in resolving bottlenecks that could potentially affect our countries, while maintaining open markets.
We welcome all economies that share these principles, corporations and non-governmental organizations, to join us in pursuing this shared vision for resilient supply chains guided by these principles. Recognizing the need for industry, trade unions, workers and other stakeholders to participate, we expressed an interest in seeing the relevant ministers of our governments convene an inclusive, multi-stakeholder meeting on supply chain security and resilience in 2022.