The Impact of COVID-19 on Trade Supply Chains

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the world, and companies are increasingly having trouble acquiring sufficient supplies, parts, materials, etc. to continue production. This disruption is causing many companies to lay off most, if not all, of their employees and in many cases, shutting down their businesses altogether.

Those companies that survive, and many may not, will need to develop a supply chain strategy that will account for the new reality of less suppliers and longer timelines to acquire what they need to continue operating.

Companies may need to consider shortening the distance between themselves and their suppliers in order to shorten the resupply time frame. They will need to make supply decisions based on where their supplier is getting their supplies from and how many layers of suppliers there really are and where they are located. Not knowing this information could impact the survival of the company.

Consider whether this is a risk you can continue to take. This risk is great, but your state’s District Export Council and Manufacturing Extension Partnership program are available to help you identify the best route for your reliable and secure supply chain to transition to in this new normal.

District Export Councils (DECs) District Export Councils are organizations of business leaders, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, experienced in international business from local communities with the ability to provide professional advice for their region’s local firms. Closely affiliated with the U.S. Commerce Department’s Export Assistance Centers and the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, over 60 DECs exist throughout the country to support the U.S. Government’s export promotion efforts.

Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is based at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The national Program Office (NIST MEP) which provides the federal government funding for the MEP National Network™ is located in Gaithersburg, MD. The MEP National Network is comprised of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), 51 MEP Centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and its over 1,400 trusted advisors and experts at approximately 375 MEP service locations, providing any U.S. manufacturer with access to resources to help them succeed.

Rudy Ortiz, Co-Chair, NADEC Trade Policy Committee

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