Jul 22 2020

Graham, Capito, Rounds Introduce Legislation to Move PPE Supply Chain from China to the United States

WASHINGTON – Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), and Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota) today introduced the U.S. MADE Act of 2020 to decrease U.S. dependence on countries like China for critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our health care providers. 

The senators noted that given the uncertainty over future market conditions, American companies have been reluctant to make long-term investments in domestic PPE production. With the spread of coronavirus, the inability of the United States to be self-sufficient with our supply of PPE has shown itself to be a national security issue. Just as the United States does not rely on China to supply military uniforms or equipment, we must not rely on them to supply critical PPE.

Items declared national priorities by the U.S. MADE Act include:

  • Testing swabs
  • Surgical and respirator masks
  • Face shields
  • Surgical and isolation gowns
  • Sanitizing and disinfecting wipes
  • Gauzes and bandages
  • Privacy curtains, beds, and bedding

The U.S. MADE Act of 2020 is modeled after the Berry Amendment and outlines PPE acquisition requirements for the Strategic National Stockpile. The legislation also establishes an investment credit for qualifying PPE manufacturing projects. Modeled after the 48C Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit, eligible U.S. manufacturers will receive a thirty percent credit against equipment costs associated with PPE manufacturing. 

“Coronavirus has been a painful wake-up call that we are too reliant on nations like China for critical medical supplies,” said Senator Graham. “Without changes, China remains set to dominate the PPE market for years to come. We have seen firsthand the problems not having a reliable source of PPE places on our health care system. It is my hope that we include this legislation in any additional Phase IV relief package. The Chinese grip on this critical supply chain must come to an end and this legislation accomplishes that goal. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that South Carolina leads the way when it comes to getting the medical supply chain out of China.”

“One of our biggest takeaways from coronavirus is that we really need to reassess our medical supply chain. It’s so important that we take every opportunity to buy American made products and support American business,” said Senator Capito. “We must do all we can to encourage economic development in our country and give our businesses the resources they need to make it through this difficult time, which is why this legislation is so critical. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing the U.S. MADE Act of 2020, which prioritizes American manufacturing and supports our workforce. This legislation makes critical changes that will lessen our dependence on other countries like China when it comes to manufacturing testing agents and PPE materials so we can deliver resources quickly and efficiently, while also supporting our own economy.”

“It has become clear that the U.S. cannot and should not rely on our adversaries like China to supply critical medical equipment such as PPE,” said Senator Rounds. “With COVID-19 continuing to put a strain on our hospitals and clinics, access to PPE—especially for medical staff—is incredibly important. Our legislation seeks to provide opportunities for American businesses to make PPE materials here at home so we can stop relying on China for masks, shields and respirators.”

Earlier this week, an industry coalition representing the full spectrum of domestic personal protective equipment (PPE) production released a statement outlining policy principles and objectives needed for reshoring and safeguarding domestic PPE manufacturing. A copy of their joint statement in support of reshoring and safeguarding the domestic production of PPE is available here.