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Rail News: Security

MTI: Cybersecurity-focused 'Made in America' EO may cause sourcing issues


A new Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) analysis is looking at whether the Biden administration's "Made in America" executive order (EO) will cause sourcing issues for transit operators.

The MTI report also analyzes how a series of EOs and laws over the past several years impact transit operators.

Executive Order 14005, also known as "Made in America," acknowledges significant cybersecurity risk and mandates greater scrutiny of the origin of computer hardware and its associated supply chain. 

MTI suggests that, in light of these EOs, transit providers and their respective vendors should take into account the following findings:

• The supply chain restrictions in multiple EOs suggest that U.S. transit agencies will likely need to find new sources for multiple products, including items purchased from or containing components produced by Huawei and other Chinese providers.

• More sourcing limitations are likely to reduce the number of acceptable vendors, potentially increasing the cost of goods.

• Transportation executives should educate themselves about the exemption processes associated with each of the EOs, the government agency staff leading the efforts (they are a good resource for EO interpretation or clarification), and, when needed, take action to file an exemption request.

The "Made in America" EO and similar directives demonstrate a level of consistency in U.S. policy across party lines. This means that future policies aimed at making the U.S. supply chain more resilient are unlikely to deviate much from the current playbook, according to the report.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/23/2021