Away They Go – A Bipartisan Senate Delegation Heads to China
October 8, 2023

Takeaway: We urge our leaders to protect America’s ability to remain competitive and resilient in the face of public health challenges

Background: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will lead a bi-partisan delegation to China. The timing couldn’t be more critical. China remains a global leader in manufacturing yet has consistently acted in ways that directly harm American manufacturers and our ability to compete – especially in the fight to keep America healthy and safe. 

Just today, news broke that China is funneling government funding to subsidize the manufacturing costs of electric vehicles. These actions illustrate the anti-competitive behaviors that are all too common now across industries and pose grave threats to the supply chain and America’s ability to compete.

The bipartisan leaders have said that they hope to raise issues of anti-competitive actions in technology manufacturing as well. They are also going on the heels of the CHIPS and Science Act passage. This bill aimed to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing to better compete with China. 

We urge them to think even bigger.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the world relied on personal protective equipment or PPE. Most of this essential gear came from China, from masks to gowns to goggles. 

The Peterson Institute for International Economics, based in Washington, D.C., reported in 2019 that China was the biggest exporter of PPE even before the COVID-19 pandemic. They supplied almost half the world’s face masks, gowns, and goggles. Today, the market size of PPE in the US is $23 Billion. 

Many new and innovative American medical manufacturers have entered the marketplace to compete and serve American hospitals, healthcare settings, and first responders. However, actions taken by China to keep prices depressed, even as the pandemic waned, have created a problematic competitive environment for domestic manufacturers.  

Therefore, we encourage our Senators to call on China to compete fairly in the market for PPE. Now is a critical time. The USA and the world rely on PPE products to protect and save lives. We urge these leaders to protect America’s ability to remain competitive and resilient in the face of public health challenges.