WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, reintroduced bipartisan legislation that will strengthen efforts to onshore production of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the United States by requiring the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to issue long-term contracts for American-made PPE. Reshoring production will ensure American workers, students, health care professionals, and others have the PPE they need as the economy continues to reopen. Domestic production of PPE supplies will also create American manufacturing jobs.
“Our reliance on foreign manufacturers for masks, gloves and respirators presents an ongoing and concerning national security risk. While the Biden Administration has made progress on this issue by fully activating the Defense Production Act and other mechanisms to help boost PPE production, there is more work to do,” said Senator Peters. “I have long raised the alarm about this ongoing problem and it is critical that we continue incentivizing workers and companies in Michigan and across the country to manufacture PPE so we create jobs and improve our response to the ongoing and future pandemics.”
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made it evident that the American people should not have to rely so heavily on foreign countries for personal protective equipment, and that’s why we must bring PPE production back to our shores,” said Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), who joined Peters to introduce the legislation. “When I talk to PPE manufacturers about re-shoring this production to America, the number one thing I hear the need for long-term contracts. Multi-year contracts give producers the certainty to know that their investment in the United States will be worth it because the government will be there to buy the PPE they produce. By re-shoring production of PPE, we can continue to support a safe and effective reopening of our schools, workplaces, and the economy, and I urge my colleagues to support this important bipartisan legislation.”
“We want to thank Senators Portman and Peters for introducing the “Make PPE in America Act” today to help onshore critical PPE production,” said National Council of Textile Organizations President and CEO Kim Glas. “By using the purchasing power of the federal government to issue long-term contracts to American companies and its workforce, this legislation will ensure vital investment in the United States for years to come, reduce our reliance on foreign suppliers for critical medical supplies and help build a permanent domestic PPE supply chain to better prepare our nation for future crises.”
Peters has led several efforts to ensure development of the Coronavirus vaccine is rooted in science and transparency and that its distribution is efficient, swift and equitable. Peters previously pressed the Trump Administration for information on their preparations to meet the enormous challenge of coordinating the wide distribution of Coronavirus vaccines. He also released a report highlighting shortcomings in the Trump Administration’s vaccine distribution plans and providing recommendations to ensure that vaccines are safe, effective, trusted by the public, free, and widely available to every community – which included utilizing the DPA.