Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) legislation to move the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) from China back to the United States by providing tax credits and incentives to companies is one of the key provisions in the new GOP stimulus package introduced Monday.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, Graham said the pandemic has made it apparent that the United States needs to manufacture essential equipment in the country.
“So, what have we learned 90 percent of the protective equipment that our doctors and nurses, and healthcare professionals need to keep us safe and keep their families safe is made in China,” he said, adding, “President Trump is hell-bent on trying to bring the medical supply chain back. There’s a big step forward in this bill.”
Graham said that the measure, titled the Restoring Critical Supply Chains and Intellectual Property Act, will bolster national security and safety and allocate $7.5 billion to companies to incentivize them to move PPE production to the United States. He added that military uniforms have been categorized as PPE and will also be manufactured in the country.
Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, took to Twitter Tuesday to praise the GOP legislation.
“So, the National Stockpile will have protective equipment Made in America we don’t have to depend on China,” Haley said. “Great leadership by @LindseyGrahamSC, @SenCapito, and @SenatorRounds for sponsoring a provision mandating that the federal government buy American made personal protective equipment to refill the National Strategic Stockpile. #MadeinAmerica.”
Other provisions in Graham’s bill include requiring the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to begin buying domestic PPE for the Strategic National Stockpile so that over the next five years the department can reach 100 percent domestic sourcing.
The bill also mandates that HHS submit a plan to Congress within 90 days detailing how they will reach 50 percent domestic sourcing in one year, 75 percent in 18 months, and 100 percent in two years.
“The goal is to have one hundred percent American-made in the strategic stockpile of PPE within five years,” concluded Graham. “I made a promise to the state of South Carolina that I would work to end our dependency on China for PPE. This bill is fulfilling that promise.”