The executive order in coming days would likely close loopholes that allow the federal government to buy foreign-made pharmaceutics and medical devices, The New York Times reports.
“China has managed to dominate all aspects of the supply chain using the same unfair trade practices that it has used to dominate other sectors — cheap sweatshop labor, lax environmental regulations and massive government subsidies,” White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told the newspaper.
Chinese manufacturers account for 13% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) produced for the U.S. market, according to FDA. China started reopening factories last month, but Reuters recently reported that logistical hurdles and labor shortages are causing production and shipment delays.
“FDA believes that advanced manufacturing technologies could enable U.S.-based pharmaceutical manufacturing to regain its competitiveness with China and other foreign countries, and potentially ensure a stable supply of drugs critical to the health of U.S. patients,” Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, told a U.S. House committee late last year.
U.S. trade officials recently exempted more than 100 medical items made in China from import tariffs in order to better fight the pandemic.