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Biden should require PPE supplies to be made in the US: GOP congressman

Fox Business
By Adam Shaw

Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., is urging President Biden to require all personal protective equipment (PPE) to be made in the U.S. as part of an effort to avoid shortages.
 
“Our domestic PPE supply and textile manufacturers have demonstrated the ability to meet the nation’s demand in the most difficult of times, why should we not consider using this untapped domestic potential for a reliable source of supplies moving forward?” he writes in the letter to the White House, obtained by Fox News
 
“We need to do better with Buy American, and treating PPE more like products necessary for our national security is one way,” he says.
 
Ferguson, who is the chief deputy whip and on the Way and Means Committee, notes that a number of manufacturing centers in Asia shut down just as demand was increasing.
 
“Factories in China were shut down for up to three months while congestion at ports, and shifting regulations in manufacturing countries led to further delays,” he writes. “Overall, sixty-seven countries imposed 152 export restrictions on medical supplies, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and other medical goods between Jan. 1 and Aug. 15 2020.
 
He also cited a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report that found multiple agencies were experiencing PPE shortages as recently as December.
 
The lawmaker said the 1933 Buy American Act included enough exceptions to contribute to what he calls a “heavy reliance” on foreign sources for PPE.
 
Instead, he says Biden should use the Berry Rule -- which cuts out exceptions for products procured by the Pentagon -- and treat PPE like a national defense supply.
 
“Given the national importance of having sufficient access to PPE supplies, treating PPE like other national defense supplies seems very appropriate,” he said. “I therefore urge your administration to apply the Berry Rule to federal procurement purchases of PPE going forward,” he said.

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