Covid Supply Chain Crunch: Asian-made PPE Stuck at Ports, Supplies Late

Written by Kenneth Rapoza of CPA

Once again, the U.S. dependence on Asia comes at a bad time. As governments warn of another tough Covid winter, hospital gowns, rubber gloves, and syringes are backed up at ports getting out of Asia, according to The Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA).

Containers are an average 37 days overdue, HIDA said.

Earlier this year, CPA applauded the Make PPE in America Act in the Senate.  This later became part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, now law.

The Infrastructure Law states that in order to foster a domestic PPE supply chain, U.S. industry needed a “strong and consistent demand signal” from the Federal Government, via minimum two-year purchase contracts from the Department of Homeland Security and the Veterans Administration, to name a few mentioned in the law.

The law is a massive win for our domestic public health industrial base, ensuring that all federal PPE purchases after enactment will only include items made here in the U.S. from American materials, similar to procurement under the Berry Amendment.

Covered agencies include the Department of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and the Veteran’s Administration, which ensures American-made products will be utilized by the Strategic National Stockpile, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, our nation’s veterans hospitals, and elsewhere.

But Congress can speak out of both sides of its mouth – and the Stop PPE Taxes Act is just one proposal still live in the Senate that would undermine the U.S. PPE industry.

The bill proposed by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), would be a gift to Chinese PPE manufacturers. CPA is watching to ensure the legislation is not added to any future packages in 2022.

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