Africa’s potential to boost US companies’ supply chain security — trade expert
As China levies export controls on two critical minerals, gallium and geranium, from August, for US industry dependent upon reliable supply chains, Africa represents a key opportunity for American interests, according to Ned Rauch-Mannino, a former co-chair for the White House’s Prosper Africa initiative.
The restrictions imposed on access to these two critical minerals mark Beijing’s latest volley in its strategic power competition with Washington and will significantly disrupt US and Taiwanese chip manufacturers, warns Rauch-Mannino, currently a visiting fellow for the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation and a former senior official with the US Department of Commerce. To that end, US vulnerability underscores the need to pursue a pivot. Decoupling is unrealistic, but diversifying supply is a necessary long-term strategy, Rauch-Mannino argues in a piece recently published in RealClearDefense (RCD).
Though Africa may not be an outright solution to today’s supply chain challenges, the continent deserves much more serious consideration from forward-thinking entrepreneurs who understand the constraints of a “single basket” approach. The case for Africa as a US industry partner is stronger than ever, and for those bold enough to navigate Africa’s complexities the opportunity for two-way commercial relationships with a market positioned for growth is clear. America’s peers, most notably the European Union and China, recognize the importance of trade and investment relationships with Africa, Rauch-Mannino points out. Therefore, he argues that beyond supply chain security, given Africa’s overall potential, US industry can build lasting, mutually beneficial relationships through commerce.