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Utah Life Sciences News & Events

President Trump Issues Executive Orders for U.S. Manufacturing of Strategic Medical Supplies; Regulatory Relief

May 21, 2020

On May 14, President Trump signed an executive order to encourage the domestic production of  critical medical supplies. In the current pandemic, U.S. reliance on China for products such as personal protective equipment, ventilators, and antibiotics, has drawn increased interest in having critical drugs and medical devices manufactured in the homeland.

The order would give Adam Boehler, CEO of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, new authorities to issue loans to support production of supplies to assist with the COVID-19 response and recovery. The order also provides the CEO authority under the Defense Production Act “for the domestic production of strategic resources needed to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, or to strengthen any relevant domestic supply chains.” Adam Boehler was formerly the director of CMS’ Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

Trump has long championed bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. and has issued several “Buy America” executive orders since taking office. Now, both Republicans and Democrats are raising concerns about supply chains and crafting bills to “onshore” products made in China. Medical products, such as drugs and devices, are top of mind. Reuters reports that “U.S. lawmakers and officials are crafting proposals to push American companies to move operations or key suppliers out of China that include tax breaks, new rules, and carefully structured subsidies.” Some industry observers caution that taken too far, such policies could end up limiting access to critical medical supplies.

On May 18, President Trump signed another executive order on deregulation to support economic recovery. The order directs agencies to “identify regulatory standards that may inhibit economic recovery,” and notes that some  regulations could be permanently or temporarily lifted.

“Just as we continue to battle COVID-19 itself, so too must we now join together to overcome the effects the virus has had on our economy,” the order states. “Agencies should address this economic emergency by rescinding, modifying, waiving, or providing exemptions from regulations and other requirements that may inhibit economic recovery, consistent with applicable law and with protection of the public health and safety…”