Portman, Peters Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Require the Defense Logistics Agency to Issue Long-Term Contracts for American-Made PPE

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced 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 more have the PPE they need as the economy continues to reopen. Domestic production of PPE supplies will also create American manufacturing jobs. 

“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 Portman, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “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.”

“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, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “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.”

“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 Textile Organization 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.”  

“This legislation is about saving lives and livelihoods for American manufacturers and the American public.  It provides a strong, long term demand signal for U.S. domestic PPE production, which is necessary if we want to ensure investment in new U.S. manufacturing,” said the President of American Apparel and Footwear Association, Steve Lamar. “It also articulates sensible domestic procurement requirements, including provisions that allow us to draw from our allies, when necessary, recognizing the critical role they played in supporting emergency PPE needs during this pandemic.  We look forward to working with Senators Portman and Peters to see that this important measure is enacted soon.