U.S. Rep. Rogers floats possible new federal mandate requiring ‘at least 50%’ of medical equipment produced domestically
As the country grapples with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, many have put a renewed focus on China and the United States’ relationship with the Asian communist superpower.
Given the origin of coronavirus was in China, and the country’s dependency on China for manufactured goods, including medical equipment, there is a movement afoot to decouple the United States from China in that regard.
During an appearance on “The Jeff Poor Show” on Huntsville radio’s WVNN, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks), the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, predicted you might see legislation offered that would raise requirements for what is produced domestically versus abroad.
“My guess is, you know, what we do on the military side — I’m on the Armed Service Committee,” he explained. “We have a requirement that at least 50% of what we procure has to be domestically produced for this very reason. We can’t become dependent on other countries for minimum things that we need to fight in wars. So, we may get into something like that — at least 50% of personal protective equipment, medical devices that we use in this country has to be produced domestically.”
“[T] hat’s probably going to result in some higher prices, but that’s worth it to know that in the future if we get in a situation like this, we don’t lose millions of Americans to death because we were trying to save a few pennies on a mask,” Rogers added.
According to Rogers, China’s behavior in the early stages of the virus outbreak justifies such actions.
“I think it will change significantly in two areas,” he said. “One I just described. They literally own the marketplace for a lot of this medical equipment, personal protective equipment and devices. And not just that — the chemicals, like, for example, the testing kits that we need to test for this virus. Most of the materials, and by that, I mean chemical materials that we use for those tests come from China. I mean, they have just taken control of that marketplace. That’s going to change, and I think we’re going to have some changed feelings and interaction with them because they kept this from us.”
“They could have told the world a lot sooner what was going on and we could have been better prepared to, A — help them confine it in their country, or B — prepare to keep it from doing what it did in country’s like Italy because China was not being truthful, withholding from the world what was going on,” Rogers continued. “So, I think it’s not just a change in their relationship with us, but I think its a change in the way the world perceives them going forward. And hopefully, well come out in a better place because of it.”