Good morning, good day, and good evening to stakeholders and observers from around the world.
I would like to welcome you to the stakeholder breakout sessions of the 2022 ministerial plenary on supply chain resilience.
I am Jose Fernandez, the Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment.
Over the past year, I have had the pleasure to work with many of today’s participants on supply chain and other economic challenges and opportunities.
Supply chain disruptions impact individuals and families in all our economies – when they go to store, when they go to work in factories that rely on parts, when they go to the hospital and need medicines and vaccines. Supply chains disruptions drive inflationary pressure and the prices we all pay.
Supply chains involve a wide range of private stakeholders from businesses of all sizes, labor, academics, civil society, and local officials.
I want to thank Mayor Duggan (Detroit), Mayor Gallego (Phoenix), and Mayor Nirenberg (San Antonio) for joining us as well.
The Biden Administration also wants to make sure that historically underrepresented communities – women-owned minority-owned and indigenous businesses – are not only at the table but also at the center of solutions aimed at building durable resilience in supply chains. We have stakeholders from around the world.
That is why we dedicated the first day of this forum to stakeholder breakout sessions for you to present, discuss, and recommend action.
A large number of government representatives will observe today’s sessions, and tomorrow the stakeholder facilitators will present a summary of your conclusions to ministers from 18 participating economies at the ministerial plenary.
At this ministerial forum, we seek commitments from our allies and partners to work together on crisis response, to end near-term supply chain disruptions, and to cooperate to build long-term supply chain resilience so those disruptions do not occur again in the future.
At the same time, we continue to work together on a bilateral, regional and sectoral basis to find and implement durable solutions that can withstand challenges of the future whether from pandemics, wars, climate impacts or natural disasters.
This ministerial forum offers a chance to bring those efforts together at a global level and to follow up on the Supply Chain Leaders’ Summit hosted in Rome by President Biden in October 2021.
We want to work with our allies and partners to ensure our supply chains are open, predictable, transparent, diversified, secure, and sustainable.
I wish you a fruitful discussion and look forward to hearing your conclusions and recommendations at tomorrow’s ministerial plenary.
With those thoughts, I would like to turn the floor over to my colleague, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Marisa Lago.