#GOP lawmakers unveil ‘Beat China’ bill to increase US drug manufacturing

#GOP lawmakers unveil ‘Beat China’ bill to increase US drug manufacturing

June 12, 2020 | 8:43am

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers on Thursday introduced a bill to increase US manufacturing of prescription drugs in a bid to reduce the country’s over-reliance on China for critical medication.

The “Beat China Act” will create tax breaks to incentivize pharmaceutical companies and medical device suppliers to relocate to the United States after the coronavirus pandemic exposed China’s monopoly on urgent medical supplies, the lawmakers said.

“For too long, our manufacturing has moved overseas, taking American jobs, jeopardizing our supply chains and forcing us to depend on competitors,” said GOP Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us just how dangerous it is to rely so heavily on other countries, including China, for critical, life-saving products like drugs and medical devices as well as supplies like gowns, masks and swabs,” she added.

“It is time we incentivize companies to bring those factories and jobs back to the United States,” she said.

Senators Joni Ernst (R. Iowa) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) who co-sponsored the bill echoed Loeffler’s remarks, with Ernst calling the COVID-19 pandemic a “‘great awakening’ when it comes to the vulnerabilities in our supply chain.”

China is the second largest exporter of drugs to the US behind Canada and the Communist country produces 90 percent of America’s antibiotics.

Meanwhile, US imports of pharmaceuticals from China increased 75 percent from 2010 to 2018.

The Trump administration has accused China of hoarding critical medical supplies such as personal protective equipment at the height of the coronavirus crisis as it attempted to cover-up the origins of the virus.

In the wake of the pandemic, Trump is reportedly “turbocharging” an initiative to remove the US from its dependency on the China-based supply chain, one of his core election promises.


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