President Joe Biden has signed an executive order delegating authority to the undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment at the Department of Defense to release critical and strategic materials from the national defense stockpile.
The order will cover the release of materials from the stockpile for national defense purposes only and exclude those for budgetary or economic reasons, the White House said Sunday.
The new policy will also direct the undersecretary to consult with the heads of executive departments and agencies before exercising its authority over the stockpile.
“By strengthening the National Defense Stockpile, the Federal Government will both ensure that it is keeping adequate quantities of goods on hand and provide a model for the private sector, while recognizing that private sector stockpiles and reserves can differ from government ones,” the EO reads.
The move is part of the administration’s efforts to advance secure and resilient supply chains to help ensure national security, competitiveness and economic prosperity. In February, an executive order was signed to conduct reviews to help identify risks in supply chains for semiconductors, critical minerals and electric-vehicle batteries, among other products.