EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Steel, Senators Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Secure Medical Supply Chains

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Republican California Rep. Michelle Steel and Democratic Illinois Rep. Brad Schneider introduced legislation Thursday that aims to make the U.S. less reliant on the Chinese Communist Party by empowering the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to negotiate trade agreements for medical goods and services with key allies and improve supply chains.

The Daily Caller first obtained a copy of the legislation, which aims to secure Americans’ access to necessary medical supplies and reduce dependence on the Chinese Communist Party. During the pandemic, China cut off the U.S. supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical equipment.

The bill also gives the USTR the power to negotiate Trusted Trade Partner Agreements. “These modern agreements will reduce or eliminate tariffs, quotas, and other barriers to enhance manufacturing in the United States and with trusted allies,” the lawmakers said.

“If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it is that we cannot trust the CCP as reliable source for any part of our supply chains, especially vital medical supplies including drugs, PPE, or medical equipment,” Steel told the Caller before introducing the bill. “I am proud to introduce this commonsense legislation to ensure that the U.S. and our allies around the world can build strong, dependable, supply chains for essential medical products. Our national security depends on it.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Steel Calls On Biden To Share Additional COVID-19 Vaccine Doses With Taiwan As China Attempts To Block Access)

Democratic Delaware Sen. Tom Carper and North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis introduced the Senate version of the bill.


(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

“The pandemic caused major disruptions across nearly all supply chains, and these challenges disproportionately impacted our health care supply chain – from medical devices to life-saving medicines to personal protective equipment (PPE),” Tillis told the Caller. “Now is the time to address long-standing shortcomings in our supply chains that were highlighted over the pandemic, repair the damage done, and ensure America is adequately prepared for future national security and public health threats.”

“This legislation will result in a more resilient, strategic supply chain to safeguard American’s access to critically-important medical products,” he added. (RELATED: ‘We Are Too Reliant On China’: Cotton, Hawley Call On US To Regain Independence From Communist Regime)

The bill is titled the Medical Supply Chain Resiliency Act.