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Deputy Secretary Don Graves Hosts Supply Chain Summit in Detroit with Senators Stabenow and Peters, Congresswomen Lawrence and Tlaib, Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist, and Mayor Duggan


Innovation, Supplier Diversity, and Semiconductors Front and Center in the Motor City

Yesterday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves, U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, U.S. Congresswomen Brenda Lawrence and Rashida Tlaib, Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II, and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, hosted a Supply Chain Summit, bringing innovation, resilience, and supplier diversity into focus. Joined by other public and private sector stakeholders, the officials participated in breakout sessions and offered solutions to diverse suppliers and minority-owned businesses by highlighting capital access, procurement, and contracting resources available through the federal government to ensure supply chain resilience.

Deputy Secretary Graves’ trip to Detroit comes as President Biden and the Commerce Department continue building support for the Bipartisan Innovation Act, which would invest $52 billion in the domestic semiconductor industry and fortify our manufacturing base—bringing new, good-paying jobs to Michigan and across the country.

“It’s no secret that this pain at the pump, grocery store, and on main street is hitting minority and low-income communities the hardest. But we also have options that will reduce costs, create jobs and rebuild our supply chains by engaging America’s greatest competitive advantage—our diversity,” said Deputy Secretary Graves. By passing the Bipartisan Innovation Act and making full use of the many tools already at our disposal, we can create good-paying jobs and workforce development opportunities for people of color, all while creating a vibrant manufacturing ecosystem where minority-owned businesses can thrive. Passing the Bipartisan Innovation Act is essential to America’s economic growth and to Michigan’s vibrant manufacturing sectors.”

“For too long, other countries have been outpacing the United States in funding new technologies. We are at a critical moment in this competition to secure our leadership in the next generation of manufacturing. That’s why I have been leading efforts to create long-term solutions to our semiconductor shortage, to make things here in America, to support our minority-owned businesses, and to create good-paying jobs here at home. Michigan’s strength is our diversity. Our workers are the best in the world, and there’s nothing more American than ensuring that our products and technology are built here in America,” said Senator Stabenow.

“The semiconductor shortage is causing massive supply chain disruptions and has idled auto plants in Michigan and across the country, harming our workers,” said Senator Peters. “We must invest in and expand domestic semiconductor production to reduce our reliance on foreign manufacturing and boost our economy. I reiterated my commitment to doing just that — during our visit with Deputy Commerce Secretary Graves — as I work with my colleagues to finalize an economic competitiveness bill that the President can sign into law.”

Earlier in the morning, Deputy Secretary Graves participated in a roundtable with elected officials, representatives from the Big Three automakers, and local employees to discuss the Bipartisan Innovation Act’s expected impact on bringing manufacturing jobs back to Detroit and the importance of economic inclusion and supplier diversity.

“Every day we delay passing the Bipartisan Innovation Act, we fall further behind. China is moving at lightning speed to dominate semiconductor production globally,” said Deputy Secretary Graves. “Not only is this a threat to our national security, but a serious challenge workers and businesses in Detroit at the vanguard of electric vehicle manufacturing. Fixing our chip shortage will tamper inflation, decrease auto prices, and bring jobs back to the Motor City. EVs are the future of auto manufacturing, and it’s fundamentally a question of whether we want those jobs here in America or somewhere else.”

“As home to the Big Three Automakers, Michiganders are uniquely aware of our supply chain challenges and semiconductor shortage. If America is going to stay competitive globally, we have to start making critical goods in America with American workers,” said Representative Lawrence. “I’m grateful for the leadership of the Commerce Department as we tackle this issue and get the Bipartisan Innovation Act across the finish line. At the same time, we need to remain supportive of our diverse suppliers who are the backbone of our supply chain and local economies.”

“Ensuring that our federal government is supporting and uplifting minority owned businesses is welcomed and needed. I thank the Deputy Secretary Graves for visiting the 13th Congressional District. As a daughter of an UAW autoworker, I appreciated the inclusion of ensuring that the jobs created are union jobs that provide a good quality of life for our residents. The pandemic has shown us that local businesses, especially minority-owned businesses, need our support so it is key that we invest our resources in lifting them up. Investment from our federal government must be centered on building and making products here at home,” said Representative Tlaib.

“I was proud to welcome Deputy Secretary Graves to Detroit to discuss the work we are doing to encourage domestic semiconductor manufacturing and connect Michigan’s diverse suppliers with greater opportunity,” said Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist II. “Governor Whitmer and I are committed to building on the over 21,000 good-paying auto jobs we have created here in Michigan and working towards a solution to the semiconductor shortage. We will continue growing our economy and investing in every Michigan community.” 

"Don Graves has been a partner to Detroit since the early days of my administration when President Obama had him embedded here in the city at the very early stages of its comeback.  Although he's back in Washington now as part of President Biden's administration, he's made it clear that he's still committed to Detroit and the issues that matter to Detroiters. His visit to the city this week to talk about the important issues of how the semiconductor shortage and supply chain issues impact families, is a reflection of President Biden's concern for working men and women in Detroit and across America," said Mayor Duggan. 

During the trip, the Commerce Department released a fact sheet detailing how secure and resilient supply chains will grow Michigan businesses, create jobs, and expand opportunity.