Is supply chain a competitive asset? According to the federal government, the answer is yes. Recently, Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank announced a new advisory committee focused on supply chain competitiveness. The idea behind it is simple: recognize that freight transportation plays a key role in America's ability to be a presence in the global market, and also recognize how that affects America's ability to export globally. The committee, according to Jeff Berman's article found on Logistics Management, is comprised of 40 senior level private sector representatives who are varied in their experience and industries. This committee will advise Secretary Black and other U.S. departments on how to gain competiveness and what issues they see in keeping that competitiveness active. The committee's efforts go further: Commerce said that the Committee will act as a liaison between industry and government and will also endeavor to ensure regular contact with supply chain-based industries, including manufacturers, distributors, and exports. It added that the Committee's advice will play a role in developing a national freight policy and in executing President Obama's National Export Initiative, whose goal is to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014. The Committee will also have the ear of key policy makers inside the Beltway, including Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, whom Commerce said will serve on the Committee as non-voting members and work with those and other agencies to coordinate government activities and programs to implement Committee recommendations. Berman believes this is a sound idea, though a little late in being realized. Right now, according to Berman, U.S. spending on infrastructure is just 1 percent of U.S. GDP. There is certainly room for the United States of America to expand how well it manages its supply chains, and what a difference that could make for both the U.S. and world economy.