Today Georgia Bio joins several other associations to sign-on the U.S. Chamber Letter to Secretary Mnuchin, Secretary Ross, Ambassador Lighthizer, and Director Kudlow.
The letter respectfully ask that the Trump administration defer moves to expand the reach of “Buy American” mandates to the medical equipment and biopharmaceutical sector during the present national emergency.
Please see below to read the full letter:
The undersigned organizations applaud the Trump administration’s focused response to the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, we appreciate the administration’s encouragement of public-private partnerships to quickly develop a vaccine for COVID-19 and expand the supply of medical countermeasures. We also commend the administration’s efforts to work with tech companies to map the spread of the coronavirus as well as FDA efforts to loosen regulations and increase testing capacities. American companies will do whatever it takes to support our country’s pandemic response and will continue to work hand in glove with government to get the job done.
While we are encouraged by this partnership and the administration’s ongoing labors with our international allies to respond to the pandemic with all available resources, we are concerned by reports of a draft “Buy American” executive order that could be counterproductive to these efforts. Such an order may delay the discovery of a COVID-19 vaccine and other treatments, worsen shortages of critically-needed medicines and medical products, and undermine prospects for economic recovery.
Now more than ever, U.S. industries require access to international supply chains to produce critically-needed medical products. The United States simply does not produce all of the raw materials or intermediate goods that are essential to drug development or production of the medical equipment needed to thwart this epidemic. Preventing federal agencies from sourcing medical equipment and pharmaceutical ingredients from abroad — or that are made with non-U.S. inputs — will only exacerbate the supply shortages racking the United States.
Further, as the world’s most innovative economy, the United States cannot shut itself off from the rest of the world. Turning our backs on trading partners during a crisis could damage our relationships long after this pandemic ends. If we implement localization requirements, many of our trade partners would assuredly follow our lead and limit imports from the United States.
For these reasons, we respectfully ask that the Trump administration defer moves to expand the reach of “Buy American” mandates to the medical equipment and biopharmaceutical sector during the present national emergency. This pandemic has raised awareness of vulnerabilities in supply chains, and American industries look forward to working with the administration to solve those challenges with well-thought-out solutions, but those efforts should be deferred until the national emergency is passed.
Today, our shared priority must be to defeat COVID-19. The U.S. business community is committed to doing whatever it takes — working in close partnership with you — to achieve this goal.