Robotic arm with microchip. Photo: AFP

The Trump administration’s broad-based assessment of the US defense industrial base and supply chain resiliency, announced in July, is almost halfway done, with draft recommendations expected this month and next, according to a report Monday.

The interagency review, which touches on areas including shipbuilding, microchips, strategic minerals and vaccines, is the most extensive such investigation ever conducted, one administration official told Breaking Defense.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had an effort that has the resources to dig as deep as this… into the supply chain and into industries and capabilities that don’t always get a lot of attention,” the official says. “What makes this so fascinating is we’re really getting a sense of how broad of a universe it is … how many of those capabilities really touch DoD (the Defense of Defense) and its core missions.”

Agencies involved include the Department of Defense, as well as civilian agencies such as Commerce and Homeland Security

One working group is investigating the US capabilities in the field of vaccines, the report said, citing the threat of biological weapons from North Korea. “Vaccine production is a critical capability for inoculating troops before they deploy abroad or civilians after a domestic outbreak.”

Meanwhile, the Interior Department is investigating the national security implications of semiconductor manufacturing moving abroad, as well as the supply chain of rare earths.

A final report is expected to be sent to the president by April, according to the source.

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