Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Reason #86 Trump Should be Reelected

From WaPoo no less: Trump takes a first step toward returning medical supply chains to the U.S.
The Trump administration said it has awarded a $354 million contract to a Virginia start-up that will produce a variety of generic drugs and their ingredients — including medicines used to treat covid-19 — at advanced manufacturing facilities in the United States.

White House officials called it a potential landmark in the efforts to return pharmaceutical manufacturing to the United States from overseas. Over the past two decades, most U.S. generic drug production has shifted offshore, notably to sites in China and India. That dependence on foreign suppliers became controversial as the coronavirus pandemic raged, when both countries limited their exports and supplies in the United States ran short.

“This is a great day for America. This has all of the elements of the Trump strategy. It’s made in the USA. It’s innovation that will allow American workers to compete with the pollution havens, sweatshops and tax havens of the world," said Peter Navarro, a White House adviser who has led the effort to return manufacturing to the United States.

But some experts questioned whether the White House ambitions for a broader supply chain repatriation were achievable. The environmental and financial considerations that originally drove production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) offshore remain compelling, they said.

“The investment that would be needed to restart some of the API business here in the U.S., especially with much more stringent [environmental] and wastewater requirements, it’s really unrealistic to think that could be done and still be price competitive,” said Susan Capie, managing director of PharmaVantage, a consultancy in Babylon, N.Y.

Phlow Corp. of Richmond will lead a private sector team that will use a continuous chemical process rather than the step-by-step approach of traditional pharmaceutical manufacturing. AMPAC Fine Chemicals, Civica Rx, and the Medicines-for-All Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University round out the partnership.
It's long past time for the US to start working towards recovering the jobs and the capabilities for manufacturing a wide variety of things, including medicines, that previous administrations, along with our financial wizards, have ceded to China. Yes, China is cheap, but China is also shoddy, and ultimately, the foremost geopolitical challenger to the United States. And, as Insty is want to remind us, China is an asshole. We don't want to rely on assholes that don't mean us well.

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