On February 24th, President Biden signed an Executive Order (EO), creating a broad, government-wide supply chain review. One of the order’s main drivers is the semiconductor chip shortage, impacting the technology and automobile sectors. While that was an area of focus, the EO directs many federal agencies to review various supply chains and report back to the President.
Given the persistence of the supply chain disruptions for furniture retailers, the Home Furnishings Association submitted a request to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to include in its supply chain review/report the issues impacting the wood products and home furnishings industries.
There are broad supply chain security and resilience concerns within the Biden Administration, but there is also a recognition of the economic impacts. The home furnishings industry has emerged as a success story for the U.S. economy as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the lengthy backlogs and wait times for retailers and customers could turn that success into a liability.
We hear from many HFA members with significant backlogs and millions of dollars of inventory waiting to be delivered to ports or transported from their port of entry. This situation deserves an analysis of the causes and process for mitigation moving forward.
HFA has also joined with several other national associations, including the National Association of Home Builders, to request a similar supply chain analysis from the Department of Commerce. That letter should be delivered in the coming days.
This outreach activity’s value is a prime example of the HFA Government Relations Action Team (GRAT). As a group, we discuss these issues, impacts, and strategies for resolution. In addition to this outreach, we continue to meet with congressional members and staff to ask for their help in resolving these supply chain issues.