Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) introduced legislation Thursday to repatriate pharmaceutical manufacturing from China to America, aiming to reduce a dependency that could seriously limit the U.S. coronavirus response.
The bill, which Cotton introduced with Rep. Mike Gallagher (R., Wis.), aims to severely curtail the volume of Chinese active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from the U.S. medical drug supply. The PRC currently produces most of the world’s APIs—the “active ingredients” in commonly used drugs—leaving the United States and other nations critically dependent on it for medicines.
Cotton’s is just the latest proposal to onshore pharmaceutical supply chains, including a similar one from Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and rumblings from the White House about a “buy American” executive order. Prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, many are beginning to see the cost-savings from Chinese-made pharmaceuticals as not worth the risk of undersupply during another pandemic, or during a potential conflict with America’s main geostrategic rival.
“China unleashed this plague on the world, and China has to be held accountable,” said Cotton during a Fox News interview Wednesday evening. “It’s too grave a threat to let our health rest on Chinese drugs.” – READ MORE