Politics

Trump Preparing Order Aimed at Ending Reliance on China for Medical Supplies

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Amid the coronavirus that is believe to have originated from China, President Trump is reportedly preparing an executive order to end reliance on China for medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.

Senator Marco Rubio tweeted today:

At yesterday’s lunch I asked @POTUS to support our efforts to invest in diversifying our supply chain, especially in pharmaceuticals & medical equipment. 

He agreed & his team led by by Peter Navarro are also working on an EO to help address this.

Per DailyCaller, the order would prevent federal agencies from purchasing medical supplies, including face masks, gloves and ventilators, from China.

As the United States has battled the domestic spread of coronavirus, consumers were alerted to the fact that China manufactures an overwhelming percentage of the federal government’s medical equipment. 90 percent of all U.S. antibiotics were manufactured in China.

China has prevented the export of surgical face masks, severely limiting supplies in the U.S. and countries around the world.

NY Times reports:

The global spread of the coronavirus is reigniting efforts by the Trump administration to encourage more American manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and reduce dependence on China for the drugs and medical products that fuel the federal health care system.

The effort includes a push by the White House trade adviser Peter Navarro to tighten “Buy American” laws so federal agencies are required to purchase American-made pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, according to people with knowledge of the plans.

The administration has been preparing an executive order, which could be released in the coming days, that would close loopholes allowing the government to purchase pharmaceuticals, face masks, ventilators and other medical products from foreign countries. 

The hope is that increasing government demand for American-made drugs and medical products will provide an incentive for companies to make their products in the United States, rather than China.

To help facilitate such production, the White House is also pushing for streamlined regulatory approvals for American-made products and more detailed labeling of the origin of products made offshore, these people said.

“China has managed to dominate all aspects of the supply chain using the same unfair trade practices that it has used to dominate other sectors — cheap sweatshop labor, lax environmental regulations and massive government subsidies,” Mr. Navarro said in an interview. “As President Trump has said, what we need to do is bring those jobs home so that we can protect the public health and the economic and national security of the country.”

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