US Senate committee passes Make PPE in America legislation

The Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee of the US Senate has passed the bipartisan legislation that will strengthen efforts to onshore production of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the US by requiring federal agencies to issue long-term contracts for American-made PPE. National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has welcomed this.

The legislation, passed last week by the comittee, was introduced by Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman and Michigan’s Democrat Senator Gary Peters.

“Reshoring production will ensure American workers, health care professionals, and more have the PPE they need as the economy continues to reopen. Domestic production of PPE supplies also will create American manufacturing jobs and ensure that America is better prepared for the next pandemic,” the Senators said on passing of the legislation by the committee. 

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made it evident that the American people should not have to rely so heavily on foreign countries for personal protective equipment, and that’s why we must bring PPE production back to our shores. I’m pleased that the Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee has passed the Make PPE In America Act,” said Senator Portman, ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “When I talk to PPE manufacturers about re-shoring this production to America, the number one thing I hear about is the need for long-term contracts. Multi-year contracts give producers the certainty to know that their investment in the United States will be worth it, because the government will be there to buy the PPE they produce. By re-shoring production of PPE, we can continue to support a safe and effective reopening of our schools, workplaces, and the economy.” 

“I have long raised the alarm that our overreliance on foreign manufacturers for masks, gloves and medical devices is a serious national security concern. Due to ongoing efforts by the Biden Administration to boost PPE production, we are making progress, but there is more work to do,” said Senator Peters, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “I am pleased this commonsense legislation, which will create jobs and improve our response to the ongoing and future pandemics, has advanced in the Senate and I will continue fighting for its passage into law.” 

NCTO president Kim Glas thanked the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for adopting the Make PPE in America Act, as it would “help guarantee long-term contracts for American companies to onshore critical PPE production.”

“This legislation will incentivise investment in and the viability of domestic PPE manufacturing, ensuring our nation remains prepared for future crises,” Glas added.

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