Gary Gereffi, professor emeritus of sociology and founding director of the Duke Global Value Chains Center visited the nation’s capital on July 15, 2021, to brief Congress on global supply chain resiliency.

“Recent disruptions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have brought both the significance and risks of supply chains to the American consciousness as never before…It has resulted in unprecedented supply shortages and demand fluctuations that have affected virtually all U.S. industries,” Gereffi testified.

He went on the note the importance of a renewed federal focus on supply chain resiliency. Following up on a White House report on the topic in June 2021, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on July 15th, Implementing Supply Chain Resiliency, which included testimony from Gary Gereffi.

Gereffi’s opening statement gave senators an overview of the recent emergence of supply chains as a research field and looked at the evolving geographic shifts and focus on Asia in supply chains.

Highlighting the traditional model of top-down supply chain models, Gereffi offered the success of North Carolina in the Global Economy Project as an example of a bottom-up model that builds resiliency in the United States.

Looking at the NC textile industry as an example, Gereffi noted, “Among the insights gleaned from the NC-Global Economy project is that traditional industries like textiles and furniture have adapted in striking ways to recent political, economic and technological shifts. While North Carolina’s textile firms accommodated NAFTA by continuing to supply apparel customers that moved to Mexico and Central America, the industry also embraced technological change via the growth of nonwoven and “technical” textiles in the state’s output and exports.”