Supply Chains for the Production of Agricultural Commodities and Food Products, 20652-20654 [2021-08152]

Download as PDF 20652 Notices Federal Register Vol. 86, No. 75 Wednesday, April 21, 2021 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency statements of organization and functions are examples of documents appearing in this section. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Document Number AMS–TM–21–0034] Supply Chains for the Production of Agricultural Commodities and Food Products Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice; request for public comments. AGENCY: On February 24, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order on ‘‘America’s Supply Chains,’’ which directs several Federal agency actions to secure and strengthen America’s supply chains. One of these directions is for the Secretary of Agriculture (the Secretary) to submit, within one year, a report to the President that assesses the supply chains for the production of agricultural commodities and food products. This notice requests comments and information from the public to assist the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in preparing the report required by the Executive Order. Through this notice, USDA is also requesting public comment to inform our thinking regarding how stimulus relief programs and spending related to food supply chain resilience as authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA), and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) can help to increase durability and resilience within the U.S. food supply. DATES: Comments must be received by May 21, 2021. ADDRESSES: All written comments in response to this notice should be posted online at www.regulations.gov. Comments received will be posted without change, including any personal information provided. All comments should reference the docket number AMS–TM–21–0034, the date of khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:12 Apr 20, 2021 Jkt 253001 submission, and the page number of this issue of the Federal Register. Comments may also be sent to Dr. Melissa R. Bailey, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Room 2055–S, STOP 0201, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250–0201. Comments will be made available for public inspection at the above address during regular business hours or via the internet at www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Melissa R. Bailey, Agricultural Marketing Service, at (202) 205–9356; or by email at melissa.bailey@usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background On February 24, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14017, ‘‘America’s Supply Chains’’ (86 FR 11849) (E.O. 14017). E.O. 14017 focuses on the need for resilient, diverse, and secure supply chains to ensure U.S. economic prosperity and national security. Such supply chains are needed to address conditions that can reduce critical manufacturing capacity and the availability and integrity of critical goods, products, and services. In relevant part, E.O. 14017 directs that, within one year, the Secretary shall submit a report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA) and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy (APEP), on the supply chains for the production of agricultural commodities and food products. This notice requests comments and information from the public to assist USDA in preparing the report required by E.O. 14017. Further, USDA will use public comments received through this notice to inform our thinking regarding how stimulus relief programs and spending related to food supply chain resilience as authorized by the CAA and the ARPA can help to increase durability and resilience within the U.S. food supply. We are particularly interested in comments addressing local and regional food systems, creating new market opportunities (including for value-added agriculture and valueadded products), facilitating fair and competitive markets (including traceability and supply chain transparency), advancing efforts to transform the food system, meeting the needs of the agricultural workforce, supporting and promoting consumers’ PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 nutrition security, particularly for lowincome populations, and supporting the needs of socially disadvantaged and small to mid-sized producers and processors. In developing this report, the Secretary will consult with the heads of appropriate agencies, and will be advised by all relevant components of USDA, including but not limited to the Office of the Chief Economist, Office of Homeland Security, Agricultural Marketing Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Agricultural Research Service, Economic Research Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Rural Development, Farm Service Agency, Risk Management Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Food and Nutrition Service, and Foreign Agricultural Service. II. Written Comments USDA is particularly interested in comments and information directed to the policy objectives listed in E.O. 14017 as they affect agricultural and food products supply chains, including but not limited to the following elements: (i) The critical goods and materials underlying agricultural and food product supply chains. Under section 6(b) of E.O. 14017, ‘‘critical goods and materials’’ means goods and raw materials currently defined under statute or regulation as ‘‘critical’’ materials, technologies, or infrastructure; (ii) other essential goods and materials underlying agricultural and food product supply chains, including digital products, and infrastructure. Under section 6(d) of E.O. 14017, ‘‘other essential goods and materials’’ means those that are essential to national and economic security, emergency preparedness, or to advance the policy set forth in section 1 of E.O. 14017, but not included within the definition of ‘‘critical goods and materials.’’ USDA also will consider ‘‘other essential goods and materials’’ relative to nutrition security given its related importance to national and economic security. USDA is particularly interested in comments on the following goods and materials pertaining to agricultural and food supply chain resilience including, but not limited to: Seed, fertilizer, pesticides, livestock/animal health, feed and feed additives, plant health, soil E:\FR\FM\21APN1.SGM 21APN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 75 / Wednesday, April 21, 2021 / Notices health, water (availability, quality, access, infrastructure), energy (availability, access, infrastructure), viability of pollinators, the agricultural workforce (sufficiency, reliability, documentation, health and well-being), access to capital/financing, access to farm production tools (including for farmers interested in value-added agriculture such as USDA organic certification), access to critical food distribution assets (shipping containers, cold chain equipment, and materials such as packaging) and technology, access to food processing and markets (including traceability and transparency), and access to training, education, and technical assistance; (iii) the manufacturing or other capabilities necessary to produce the materials identified in subsections (i) and (ii) of this section, including emerging capabilities. USDA is particularly interested in comments on the processing and distribution, capacity, and access issues associated with food production across all agricultural commodities, the varying scales at which processing is available (including availability for small to midsize producers), the geographic distribution of such processing (e.g., availability to local and regional producers and food hubs), access to transportation hubs and export facilities, and cold chain infrastructure and capacity, access to packaging (including the availability of sustainable packaging), as well as the ownership and financial viability of such facilities; (iv) the defense, intelligence, cyber, homeland security, health, climate, environmental, natural, market, economic, geopolitical, human-rights or forced-labor risks or other contingencies that may disrupt, strain, compromise, or eliminate the supply chain—including risks posed by supply chains’ reliance on digital products that may be vulnerable to failures or exploitation, and risks resulting from the elimination of, or failure to develop domestically, the capabilities identified in subsection (iii) of this section—and that are sufficiently likely to arise so as to require reasonable preparation for their occurrence; (v) the resilience and capacity of American manufacturing supply chains, including food processing (e.g., meat, poultry, and seafood processing) and distribution, and the industrial and agricultural base—whether civilian or defense—of the United States to support national, economic, and nutrition security, emergency preparedness, and the policy identified in section 1 of E.O. 14017, in the event any of the contingencies identified in subsection VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:12 Apr 20, 2021 Jkt 253001 (iv) of this section occurs, including an assessment of: (A) The manufacturing or other needed capacities of the United States, including the ability to modernize to meet future needs, including food processing (such as meat, poultry, and seafood processing) and distribution; (B) gaps in domestic manufacturing capabilities, including nonexistent, extinct, threatened, or single-point-offailure capabilities; (C) supply chains with a single point of failure, single or dual suppliers, or limited resilience, especially for subcontractors, as defined by section 44.101 of title 48, Code of Federal Regulations (Federal Acquisition Regulation). USDA is particularly interested in comments related to the role of market concentration and consolidation in agricultural sectors and how it affects food system resilience, including potential system failures in the face of supply chain disruptions; (D) the location and geographic distribution of key manufacturing and production assets, with any significant risks identified in subsection (iv) of this section posed by the assets’ physical location or the distribution of these facilities. USDA is interested in comments on the risks associated with the current geographic distribution and diversification of where U.S. crops and livestock are grown/raised, processed, and marketed; (E) exclusive or dominant supply of critical goods and materials and other essential goods and materials, as identified in subsections (i) and (ii) of this section, by or through nations that are, or are likely to become, unfriendly or unstable; (F) the availability of substitutes or alternative sources for critical goods and materials and other essential goods and materials, as identified in subsections (i) and (ii) of this section. For example, USDA encourages commenters to consider agricultural products that could be domestically grown but are not practically available today for various reasons, and to describe whether and how such products (or their alternatives) could be made available through supply chain resilience efforts; (G) current domestic education and manufacturing workforce skills for the relevant sector and identified gaps, opportunities, and potential best practices in meeting the future workforce needs for the relevant sector; (H) the need for research and development capacity to sustain leadership in the development of critical goods and materials and other essential goods and materials, as identified in subsections (i) and (ii) of PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20653 this section. USDA is particularly interested in comments related to education, technical assistance, capacity building, organizational development, and support necessary for success in U.S. agriculture and food production, processing, distribution, and marketing, including how to best target support for socially disadvantaged producers and processors, tribal communities, small businesses, beginning farmers and ranchers, and other key stakeholder groups; (I) the role of transportation systems in supporting existing supply chains and risks associated with those transportation systems; and (J) the risks posed by climate change to the availability, production, or transportation of critical goods and materials and other essential goods and materials, as identified in subsections (i) and (ii) of this section. Given the risks posed, USDA is particularly interested in the potential to retool, reengineer, or develop new capacity that would address the risks, improve efficiency, and have a climate benefit due to lower energy use, less food waste, or hasten capture of by-products and co-products (among other benefits). (vi) allied and partner actions, including whether United States allies and partners have also identified and prioritized the critical goods and materials and other essential goods and materials identified in subsections (i) and (ii) of this section, and possible avenues for international engagement; (vii) the primary causes of risks for any aspect of the agricultural and food production supply chains assessed as vulnerable pursuant to subsection (v) of this section; (viii) a prioritization of the critical goods and materials and other essential goods and materials, including digital products, identified in subsections (i) and (ii) of this section for the purpose of identifying options and policy recommendations. The prioritization shall be based on statutory or regulatory requirements; importance to national, economic, and nutrition security, emergency preparedness, and the policy set forth in section 1 of E.O. 14017; (ix) specific policy recommendations important to transforming the food system and increasing reliance in the supply chain for the sector. Such recommendations may include sustainably reshoring supply chains and developing domestic supplies, cooperating with allies and partners to identify alternative supply chains, building redundancy into domestic supply chains, ensuring and enlarging stockpiles, developing workforce capabilities, enhancing access to E:\FR\FM\21APN1.SGM 21APN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 20654 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 75 / Wednesday, April 21, 2021 / Notices financing, expanding research and development to broaden supply chains, addressing risks due to vulnerabilities in digital products relied on by supply chains, addressing risks posed by climate change, strengthening supply chains’ ability to promote nutrition security, and any other recommendations. For example, as a part of this assessment, USDA is interested in recommendations that could improve local and regional food production, processing, packaging, and distribution, particularly for small to mid-sized producers and processors; support national nutrition security and health; address agricultural workforce needs; strengthen market transparency (such as traceability); and address disproportionate impacts on socially disadvantaged communities. As USDA implements stimulus relief programs and spending authorized by the CAA and ARPA, we seek public comments on targeting funds toward food supply chain resiliency. USDA’s initial thinking includes, but is not limited to, funding, through a combination of grants or loans, needs such as: Supply chain retooling to address multiple needs at once (i.e., achieving both climate benefits and addressing supply gaps or vulnerabilities concurrently), expansion of local and regional food capacity and distribution (e.g., hubs, cooperative development, cold chain improvements, infrastructure), development of local and regional meat and poultry processing and seafood processing and distribution, and food supply chain capacity building for socially disadvantaged communities. USDA notes that we will also consider public comments received during USDA’s March 19, 2021, listening session and associated written comments on Coronavirus Response Grants related to CAA funding as part of the information considered for this Executive Order report; (x) any executive, legislative, regulatory, and policy changes and any other actions to strengthen the capabilities identified in subsection (iii) of this section, and to prevent, avoid, or prepare for any of the contingencies identified in subsection (iv) of this section; and (xi) proposals for improving the Government-wide effort to strengthen supply chains, including proposals for coordinating actions with ongoing efforts that could be considered duplicative of the work of E.O. 14017 or with existing Government mechanisms that could be used to implement E.O. 14017 in a more effective manner. USDA encourages commenters, when addressing the elements above, to VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:12 Apr 20, 2021 Jkt 253001 structure their comments using the same text as identifiers for the areas of inquiry to which their comments respond. This would assist USDA in more easily reviewing and summarizing the comments received in response to these specific comment areas. For example, a commenter submitting comments responsive to ‘‘(i) critical and essential goods and materials underlying agricultural and food product supply chains’’ would use that same text as a heading in the public comment followed by the commenter’s specific comments in this area. III. Requirements for Written Comments The https://www.regulations.gov website allows users to provide comments by filling in a ‘‘Type Comment’’ field or by attaching a document using an ‘‘Upload File’’ field. USDA prefers that comments be provided in an attached document. USDA prefers submissions in Microsoft Word (.doc files) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf files). If the submission is in an application format other than Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat, please indicate the name of the application in the ‘‘Type Comment’’ field. Please do not attach separate cover letters to electronic submissions; rather, include any information that might appear in a cover letter within the comments. Similarly, to the extent possible, please include any exhibits, annexes, or other attachments in the same file, so that the submission consists of one file instead of multiple files. Comments (both public comments and non-confidential versions of comments containing business confidential information) will be placed in the docket and open to public inspection. Comments may be viewed on https://www.regulations.gov by entering docket number AMS–TM– 21–0034 in the search field on the home page. All filers should name their files using the name of the person or entity submitting the comments. Anonymous comments are also accepted. Communications from agencies of the United States Government will not be made available for public inspection. Anyone submitting business confidential information should clearly identify the business confidential portion at the time of submission, file a statement justifying nondisclosure and referring to the specific legal authority claimed, and provide a non-confidential version of the submission. The nonconfidential version of the submission will be placed in the public file on https://www.regulations.gov. For comments submitted electronically containing business confidential PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 information, the file name of the business confidential version should begin with the characters ‘‘BC.’’ Any page containing business confidential information must be clearly marked ‘‘BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL’’ on the top of that page. The non-confidential version must be clearly marked ‘‘PUBLIC.’’ The file name of the nonconfidential version should begin with the character ‘‘P.’’ The ‘‘BC’’ and ‘‘P’’ should be followed by the name of the person or entity submitting the comments or rebuttal comments. If a public hearing is held in support of this supply chain assessment, a separate Federal Register notice will be published providing the date and information about the hearing. Bruce Summers, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2021–08152 Filed 4–20–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Agency Information Collection Activities: School Meals Operations Study: Evaluation of the COVID–19 Child Nutrition Waivers and Child Nutrition Programs Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This collection is a revision of a currently approved collection for the School Meals Operations (SMO) Study (OMB control number 0584–0607, expiration date 08/31/2022) with updated survey instruments for school year (SY) 2021–2022. This study will collect data from State agencies and public school food authorities (SFAs), including disaggregated administrative data and data on the continued use and effectiveness of the CN COVID–19 waivers. SUMMARY: Written comments must be received on or before June 21, 2021. ADDRESSES: Comments may be sent to: Holly Figueroa, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1320 Braddock Pl, 5th floor, Alexandria, VA 22314. Comments may also be submitted via fax to the attention of Holly Figueroa at 703–305–2576 or via email to Holly.Figueroa@usda.gov. DATES: E:\FR\FM\21APN1.SGM 21APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 75 (Wednesday, April 21, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 20652-20654]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-08152]


========================================================================
Notices
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 75 / Wednesday, April 21, 2021 / 
Notices

[[Page 20652]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

[Document Number AMS-TM-21-0034]


Supply Chains for the Production of Agricultural Commodities and 
Food Products

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice; request for public comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: On February 24, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive 
Order on ``America's Supply Chains,'' which directs several Federal 
agency actions to secure and strengthen America's supply chains. One of 
these directions is for the Secretary of Agriculture (the Secretary) to 
submit, within one year, a report to the President that assesses the 
supply chains for the production of agricultural commodities and food 
products. This notice requests comments and information from the public 
to assist the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in preparing the 
report required by the Executive Order. Through this notice, USDA is 
also requesting public comment to inform our thinking regarding how 
stimulus relief programs and spending related to food supply chain 
resilience as authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 
(CAA), and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) can help to 
increase durability and resilience within the U.S. food supply.

DATES: Comments must be received by May 21, 2021.

ADDRESSES: All written comments in response to this notice should be 
posted online at www.regulations.gov. Comments received will be posted 
without change, including any personal information provided. All 
comments should reference the docket number AMS-TM-21-0034, the date of 
submission, and the page number of this issue of the Federal Register. 
Comments may also be sent to Dr. Melissa R. Bailey, Agricultural 
Marketing Service, USDA, Room 2055-S, STOP 0201, 1400 Independence 
Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-0201. Comments will be made available 
for public inspection at the above address during regular business 
hours or via the internet at www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Melissa R. Bailey, Agricultural 
Marketing Service, at (202) 205-9356; or by email at 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    On February 24, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14017, 
``America's Supply Chains'' (86 FR 11849) (E.O. 14017). E.O. 14017 
focuses on the need for resilient, diverse, and secure supply chains to 
ensure U.S. economic prosperity and national security. Such supply 
chains are needed to address conditions that can reduce critical 
manufacturing capacity and the availability and integrity of critical 
goods, products, and services. In relevant part, E.O. 14017 directs 
that, within one year, the Secretary shall submit a report to the 
President, through the Assistant to the President for National Security 
Affairs (APNSA) and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy 
(APEP), on the supply chains for the production of agricultural 
commodities and food products. This notice requests comments and 
information from the public to assist USDA in preparing the report 
required by E.O. 14017. Further, USDA will use public comments received 
through this notice to inform our thinking regarding how stimulus 
relief programs and spending related to food supply chain resilience as 
authorized by the CAA and the ARPA can help to increase durability and 
resilience within the U.S. food supply. We are particularly interested 
in comments addressing local and regional food systems, creating new 
market opportunities (including for value-added agriculture and value-
added products), facilitating fair and competitive markets (including 
traceability and supply chain transparency), advancing efforts to 
transform the food system, meeting the needs of the agricultural 
workforce, supporting and promoting consumers' nutrition security, 
particularly for low-income populations, and supporting the needs of 
socially disadvantaged and small to mid-sized producers and processors.
    In developing this report, the Secretary will consult with the 
heads of appropriate agencies, and will be advised by all relevant 
components of USDA, including but not limited to the Office of the 
Chief Economist, Office of Homeland Security, Agricultural Marketing 
Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Food Safety and 
Inspection Service, Agricultural Research Service, Economic Research 
Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Rural Development, 
Farm Service Agency, Risk Management Agency, Natural Resources 
Conservation Service, Food and Nutrition Service, and Foreign 
Agricultural Service.

II. Written Comments

    USDA is particularly interested in comments and information 
directed to the policy objectives listed in E.O. 14017 as they affect 
agricultural and food products supply chains, including but not limited 
to the following elements:
    (i) The critical goods and materials underlying agricultural and 
food product supply chains. Under section 6(b) of E.O. 14017, 
``critical goods and materials'' means goods and raw materials 
currently defined under statute or regulation as ``critical'' 
materials, technologies, or infrastructure;
    (ii) other essential goods and materials underlying agricultural 
and food product supply chains, including digital products, and 
infrastructure. Under section 6(d) of E.O. 14017, ``other essential 
goods and materials'' means those that are essential to national and 
economic security, emergency preparedness, or to advance the policy set 
forth in section 1 of E.O. 14017, but not included within the 
definition of ``critical goods and materials.'' USDA also will consider 
``other essential goods and materials'' relative to nutrition security 
given its related importance to national and economic security. USDA is 
particularly interested in comments on the following goods and 
materials pertaining to agricultural and food supply chain resilience 
including, but not limited to: Seed, fertilizer, pesticides, livestock/
animal health, feed and feed additives, plant health, soil

[[Page 20653]]

health, water (availability, quality, access, infrastructure), energy 
(availability, access, infrastructure), viability of pollinators, the 
agricultural workforce (sufficiency, reliability, documentation, health 
and well-being), access to capital/financing, access to farm production 
tools (including for farmers interested in value-added agriculture such 
as USDA organic certification), access to critical food distribution 
assets (shipping containers, cold chain equipment, and materials such 
as packaging) and technology, access to food processing and markets 
(including traceability and transparency), and access to training, 
education, and technical assistance;
    (iii) the manufacturing or other capabilities necessary to produce 
the materials identified in subsections (i) and (ii) of this section, 
including emerging capabilities. USDA is particularly interested in 
comments on the processing and distribution, capacity, and access 
issues associated with food production across all agricultural 
commodities, the varying scales at which processing is available 
(including availability for small to mid-size producers), the 
geographic distribution of such processing (e.g., availability to local 
and regional producers and food hubs), access to transportation hubs 
and export facilities, and cold chain infrastructure and capacity, 
access to packaging (including the availability of sustainable 
packaging), as well as the ownership and financial viability of such 
facilities;
    (iv) the defense, intelligence, cyber, homeland security, health, 
climate, environmental, natural, market, economic, geopolitical, human-
rights or forced-labor risks or other contingencies that may disrupt, 
strain, compromise, or eliminate the supply chain--including risks 
posed by supply chains' reliance on digital products that may be 
vulnerable to failures or exploitation, and risks resulting from the 
elimination of, or failure to develop domestically, the capabilities 
identified in subsection (iii) of this section--and that are 
sufficiently likely to arise so as to require reasonable preparation 
for their occurrence;
    (v) the resilience and capacity of American manufacturing supply 
chains, including food processing (e.g., meat, poultry, and seafood 
processing) and distribution, and the industrial and agricultural 
base--whether civilian or defense--of the United States to support 
national, economic, and nutrition security, emergency preparedness, and 
the policy identified in section 1 of E.O. 14017, in the event any of 
the contingencies identified in subsection (iv) of this section occurs, 
including an assessment of:
    (A) The manufacturing or other needed capacities of the United 
States, including the ability to modernize to meet future needs, 
including food processing (such as meat, poultry, and seafood 
processing) and distribution;
    (B) gaps in domestic manufacturing capabilities, including 
nonexistent, extinct, threatened, or single-point-of-failure 
capabilities;
    (C) supply chains with a single point of failure, single or dual 
suppliers, or limited resilience, especially for subcontractors, as 
defined by section 44.101 of title 48, Code of Federal Regulations 
(Federal Acquisition Regulation). USDA is particularly interested in 
comments related to the role of market concentration and consolidation 
in agricultural sectors and how it affects food system resilience, 
including potential system failures in the face of supply chain 
disruptions;
    (D) the location and geographic distribution of key manufacturing 
and production assets, with any significant risks identified in 
subsection (iv) of this section posed by the assets' physical location 
or the distribution of these facilities. USDA is interested in comments 
on the risks associated with the current geographic distribution and 
diversification of where U.S. crops and livestock are grown/raised, 
processed, and marketed;
    (E) exclusive or dominant supply of critical goods and materials 
and other essential goods and materials, as identified in subsections 
(i) and (ii) of this section, by or through nations that are, or are 
likely to become, unfriendly or unstable;
    (F) the availability of substitutes or alternative sources for 
critical goods and materials and other essential goods and materials, 
as identified in subsections (i) and (ii) of this section. For example, 
USDA encourages commenters to consider agricultural products that could 
be domestically grown but are not practically available today for 
various reasons, and to describe whether and how such products (or 
their alternatives) could be made available through supply chain 
resilience efforts;
    (G) current domestic education and manufacturing workforce skills 
for the relevant sector and identified gaps, opportunities, and 
potential best practices in meeting the future workforce needs for the 
relevant sector;
    (H) the need for research and development capacity to sustain 
leadership in the development of critical goods and materials and other 
essential goods and materials, as identified in subsections (i) and 
(ii) of this section. USDA is particularly interested in comments 
related to education, technical assistance, capacity building, 
organizational development, and support necessary for success in U.S. 
agriculture and food production, processing, distribution, and 
marketing, including how to best target support for socially 
disadvantaged producers and processors, tribal communities, small 
businesses, beginning farmers and ranchers, and other key stakeholder 
groups;
    (I) the role of transportation systems in supporting existing 
supply chains and risks associated with those transportation systems; 
and
    (J) the risks posed by climate change to the availability, 
production, or transportation of critical goods and materials and other 
essential goods and materials, as identified in subsections (i) and 
(ii) of this section. Given the risks posed, USDA is particularly 
interested in the potential to retool, reengineer, or develop new 
capacity that would address the risks, improve efficiency, and have a 
climate benefit due to lower energy use, less food waste, or hasten 
capture of by-products and co-products (among other benefits).
    (vi) allied and partner actions, including whether United States 
allies and partners have also identified and prioritized the critical 
goods and materials and other essential goods and materials identified 
in subsections (i) and (ii) of this section, and possible avenues for 
international engagement;
    (vii) the primary causes of risks for any aspect of the 
agricultural and food production supply chains assessed as vulnerable 
pursuant to subsection (v) of this section;
    (viii) a prioritization of the critical goods and materials and 
other essential goods and materials, including digital products, 
identified in subsections (i) and (ii) of this section for the purpose 
of identifying options and policy recommendations. The prioritization 
shall be based on statutory or regulatory requirements; importance to 
national, economic, and nutrition security, emergency preparedness, and 
the policy set forth in section 1 of E.O. 14017;
    (ix) specific policy recommendations important to transforming the 
food system and increasing reliance in the supply chain for the sector. 
Such recommendations may include sustainably reshoring supply chains 
and developing domestic supplies, cooperating with allies and partners 
to identify alternative supply chains, building redundancy into 
domestic supply chains, ensuring and enlarging stockpiles, developing 
workforce capabilities, enhancing access to

[[Page 20654]]

financing, expanding research and development to broaden supply chains, 
addressing risks due to vulnerabilities in digital products relied on 
by supply chains, addressing risks posed by climate change, 
strengthening supply chains' ability to promote nutrition security, and 
any other recommendations. For example, as a part of this assessment, 
USDA is interested in recommendations that could improve local and 
regional food production, processing, packaging, and distribution, 
particularly for small to mid-sized producers and processors; support 
national nutrition security and health; address agricultural workforce 
needs; strengthen market transparency (such as traceability); and 
address disproportionate impacts on socially disadvantaged communities. 
As USDA implements stimulus relief programs and spending authorized by 
the CAA and ARPA, we seek public comments on targeting funds toward 
food supply chain resiliency. USDA's initial thinking includes, but is 
not limited to, funding, through a combination of grants or loans, 
needs such as: Supply chain retooling to address multiple needs at once 
(i.e., achieving both climate benefits and addressing supply gaps or 
vulnerabilities concurrently), expansion of local and regional food 
capacity and distribution (e.g., hubs, cooperative development, cold 
chain improvements, infrastructure), development of local and regional 
meat and poultry processing and seafood processing and distribution, 
and food supply chain capacity building for socially disadvantaged 
communities. USDA notes that we will also consider public comments 
received during USDA's March 19, 2021, listening session and associated 
written comments on Coronavirus Response Grants related to CAA funding 
as part of the information considered for this Executive Order report;
    (x) any executive, legislative, regulatory, and policy changes and 
any other actions to strengthen the capabilities identified in 
subsection (iii) of this section, and to prevent, avoid, or prepare for 
any of the contingencies identified in subsection (iv) of this section; 
and
    (xi) proposals for improving the Government-wide effort to 
strengthen supply chains, including proposals for coordinating actions 
with ongoing efforts that could be considered duplicative of the work 
of E.O. 14017 or with existing Government mechanisms that could be used 
to implement E.O. 14017 in a more effective manner.
    USDA encourages commenters, when addressing the elements above, to 
structure their comments using the same text as identifiers for the 
areas of inquiry to which their comments respond. This would assist 
USDA in more easily reviewing and summarizing the comments received in 
response to these specific comment areas. For example, a commenter 
submitting comments responsive to ``(i) critical and essential goods 
and materials underlying agricultural and food product supply chains'' 
would use that same text as a heading in the public comment followed by 
the commenter's specific comments in this area.

III. Requirements for Written Comments

    The https://www.regulations.gov website allows users to provide 
comments by filling in a ``Type Comment'' field or by attaching a 
document using an ``Upload File'' field. USDA prefers that comments be 
provided in an attached document. USDA prefers submissions in Microsoft 
Word (.doc files) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf files). If the submission is 
in an application format other than Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat, 
please indicate the name of the application in the ``Type Comment'' 
field. Please do not attach separate cover letters to electronic 
submissions; rather, include any information that might appear in a 
cover letter within the comments. Similarly, to the extent possible, 
please include any exhibits, annexes, or other attachments in the same 
file, so that the submission consists of one file instead of multiple 
files. Comments (both public comments and non-confidential versions of 
comments containing business confidential information) will be placed 
in the docket and open to public inspection. Comments may be viewed on 
https://www.regulations.gov by entering docket number AMS-TM-21-0034 in 
the search field on the home page. All filers should name their files 
using the name of the person or entity submitting the comments. 
Anonymous comments are also accepted. Communications from agencies of 
the United States Government will not be made available for public 
inspection. Anyone submitting business confidential information should 
clearly identify the business confidential portion at the time of 
submission, file a statement justifying nondisclosure and referring to 
the specific legal authority claimed, and provide a non-confidential 
version of the submission. The nonconfidential version of the 
submission will be placed in the public file on https://www.regulations.gov. For comments submitted electronically containing 
business confidential information, the file name of the business 
confidential version should begin with the characters ``BC.'' Any page 
containing business confidential information must be clearly marked 
``BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL'' on the top of that page. The non-confidential 
version must be clearly marked ``PUBLIC.'' The file name of the 
nonconfidential version should begin with the character ``P.'' The 
``BC'' and ``P'' should be followed by the name of the person or entity 
submitting the comments or rebuttal comments. If a public hearing is 
held in support of this supply chain assessment, a separate Federal 
Register notice will be published providing the date and information 
about the hearing.

Bruce Summers,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-08152 Filed 4-20-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P