Rep. Maloney Unveils New Legislation Requiring Domestic Production of PPE, Encourages US Manufacturing in Preparation for Future Crises

Jul 8, 2020
Press Release

NEW YORK, NY- Today, Congresswoman B. Maloney (NY-12) joined members of New York City’s fashion industry to unveil her new legislation, the Made in America: Preparation for a Pandemic Act.

 

In response to catastrophic shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the United States since the coronavirus outbreak, Congresswoman Maloney announced the Made in America: Preparation for a Pandemic Act to secure our nation’s critical stock of PPE and promote a stronger manufacturing base for medical equipment.

 

A full video of today’s press conference can be viewed here. Bill text is available here.

 

 

“Having strong domestic production of PPE is absolutely essential to keeping Americans safe in the midst of a global pandemic. Too many lives have been lost unnecessarily because broken global supply chains left our essential workers without the equipment they needed. I am incredibly proud of the coalition of New York City fashion industry members who stepped up and worked tirelessly to produce over one million non-surgical PPE isolation gowns in spite of these great challenges, but our nation should never be placed in such a desperate position again. That is why I am proud to introduce this bill to guarantee an adequate stock of PPE in the Strategic National Stockpile at all times and establish domestic supply chain incentives that put Americans to work building the skills and materials we need to sustain us when our nation is hit with the unthinkable,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12).

 

“Amidst the devastated landscape from COVID 19, the NYC Manufacturer's Coalition was able to pivot into PPE gown manufacturing with the help of leaders and community that answered the call. To let this hard earned knowledge go, to return exclusively to traditional foreign sources, would be leaving us vulnerable again to changing currents in global politics in the era of pandemic. The nascent foundation that all of us through trial and error laid down should be protected as it will protect our health workers, our citizens and our country from ever being completely vulnerable. It will keep our manufacturing industry from completely collapsing and our workers employed. That in itself is a long-term gain for our country's economy even though initially we are paying more for what can be obtained overseas. I have faith in American creativity that this gap will narrow, and our quality will far surpass the global competition in the future. The Made in America: Preparation for a Pandemic Act is a statement of that faith and of safeguarding our citizens, “ said Mi Jong Lee, Designer and Founder of Emmelle Designs and Founder of NYC Manufacturers Coalition.

 

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 300 US manufacturers have stepped up to support the production of PPE supporting over 30,000 jobs and helping save countless lives. Gerber Technology has been proud to support them and while the industry’s response has been positive, clear demand signals are needed in order to support the investments in more sustainable domestic production. This is critical not only to ensure the availability of PPE during crises, such as COVID-19 , both also to foster the competitiveness of US manufacturing in a post COVID-19 world. We look forward to the Made in America Bill helping advance critically needed domestic production,” said Karsten Newbury, Chief Strategy and Digital Officer at Gerber Technology.

 

“We continue to see unmet needs of PPE across the United States.  In hospitals, healthcare systems, retailers, communities, and more. If we are able to simplify the supply chain and produce more PPE domestically, these shortages will be mitigated and we will put Americans back to work and reskill them as well. Those consumers who are most at risk are not able to afford or ask for the bare minimum of PPE that will protect them and their families in these times.  We believe that this bill will improve affordability, accessibility, and give people back their dignity. The Made in America: Preparation for a Pandemic Act will also improve overall consumer confidence which is essential to propelling a strong economy,” said Deborah Weinswig, Founder and CEO of Coresight Research and Board Member of Retailers United.

 

“During the initial response to the COVID-19 crisis here in New York, we learned that simplicity, centralization and standardization were three essential components needed in order to effectively support the U.S.'s response to the severe lack of PPE goods. Having been in the fashion industry for over fifty years as both a manufacturer and a designer, I understood what needed to be done. This consortium's success in redeveloping local garment center's factories is what made our efforts so productive on many different fronts - we could save lives with gowns we knew were well made by trusted local manufacturers, move quickly to locate and source materials, give jobs back to the community and save people's businesses. The Made in America: Preparation for a Pandemic Act creates a foundation to our future responses by bridging the gap between government and industry. This bill addresses the need to not only secure domestic manufacturing in order to maintain jobs in America but also the needs to protect Americans who are on the front lines and to ensure national security as a whole,” said Kay Unger, Co-Chair of Fashion for the Front Lines and Chair Emerita of Parsons School of Design.

 

"Over the past few months, I’ve seen firsthand how this global pandemic has devastated the fashion industry. The supply chain we once knew and relied heavily on has completely changed, leaving those most vulnerable at the highest risk if we do not step in. Fashion Girls for Humanity, with support from Fashion for the Front Lines, has worked tirelessly to fund the production of gowns and distribute them to places in most need. However, this is not enough - we need federal support to help our country’s manufacturers keep their jobs to create gowns that will save lives. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s Made in America: Preparation for a Pandemic bill is a prime example of the federal support our country desperately needs," said Julie Gilhart, Chief Development Officer at Tomorrow Limited and President of Tomorrow Consulting, Co-Founder of Fashion Girls for Humanity, and Member of Fashion for the Front Lines.

 

“We have been fortunate to bring in millions of units of PPE into the US to help hospitals and governments urgently in need of PPE supplies. As the pandemic has broadened, we’ve partnered with some amazing local factories and designers to create PPE here in the USA so that hospitals and governments do not need to rely on foreign countries for their PPE. We are excited to continue this momentum to help protect our frontline heroes each and every day,” said Chaitenya Razdan, Co-Founder and CEO of Care+Wear and Member of Fashion for the Front Lines.

 

 

Background 

  • PPE shortages remain a critical challenge in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. FEMA’s Supply Chain Stabilization Task Force projected a shortage of approximately 100 million gowns and 40 million N95 respirators this month.

 

More than 400 healthcare workers have died from coronavirus, and shortages of PPE have played a significant role in this crisis.

 

  • Throughout this crisis, Congresswoman Maloney has worked with Fashion for the Frontlines, Fashion Girls for Humanity, Care+Wear, Gerber Techonology, Retailers United, and the NYC Manufacturers Coalition to produce more than one million non-surgical PPE isolation gowns to distribute to hospitals and governments in New York City and across the nation.  

 

More information available here

 

The Made in America: Preparation for a Pandemic Act will:

 

  • require that the Strategic National Stockpile maintain at least enough PPE to sustain the U.S. through a year of a global pandemic;

 

  • require 25% of that PPE to be produced in the U.S., strengthening our domestic supply chains and ensuring Americans have the tools to manufacture lifesaving supplies when the nation needs them most; and

 

  • create a tax credit to assist manufacturers with the costs of developing or expanding domestic sources for the end-to-end production of PPE goods within the US.

 

 

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