Flood of ultra-cheap face masks threatens U.S. PPE manufacturing; reinforces dangerous reliance on China.
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 10, 2021—The American Mask Manufacturers Association (AMMA) today is seeking action from the World Trade Organization against China for anti-competitive business practices undercutting U.S. mask manufacturers. By subsidizing the price of face masks at a fraction of the cost to produce, the Chinese government is freezing out foreign competitors and creating a dangerous reliance on its industry to supply the world with vital PPE.
“Early in the pandemic we saw how an over-reliance on China to supply America and other nations with PPE led to shortages that cost countless lives.These were preventable deaths,” said AMMA Chairman Brent Dillie. “Now, the Chinese government is manipulating the market to once again assert itself as the dominant supplier of PPE and face masks, which could threaten the well-being of nations all over the world.”
The American Mask Manufacturer’s Association represents the 26 small business Mask Manufacturers that answered America’s call for emergency PPE during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In less than a year, AMMA members created the manufacturing capacity for 3.69 billion surgical masks and 1.06 billion N95 masks, while also creating 7,823 jobs. And, these masks were produced and tested using established quality standards, as required by law -- all of which increases costs to ensure safety.
“We are urging, pleading, the WTO to take action against China’s behavior,” Dillie said. “The flood of cheap, inferior face masks on the market threaten global efforts to curb community spread of the virus -- both with PPE that offers inadequate protection as well as a lack of confidence by governments to purchase masks that could be faulty.”
AMMA members are encouraged by the strong leadership and expeditious action of President Biden and his administration to ensure a strong domestic PPE manufacturing industry as well as efforts to curb the pandemic. However, it will take a global effort, prompted by the WTO, to address anti-competitive behavior by China and prevent a greater number of deaths both now and in the future.
The American Mask Manufacturers Association (AMMAunited.org) is dedicated to bringing strategic mask manufacturing back to America. The association represents 26 manufacturers who answered the country’s call for critical PPE during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic when global supply chains failed