Portman proposes bill to re-shore PPE manufacturing in U.S.

Bipartisan legislation proposed on Aug. 18 by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) would bring back production of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the United States and increase American PPE manufacturing jobs. 

“The ongoing #COVID19 pandemic has made it clear that we cannot rely on foreign nations like China to produce PPE,” Sen. Portman tweeted on Tuesday. “That’s why I introduced legislation w/ @SenGaryPeters to incentivize PPE manufacturers to bring production and #jobs back to the U.S.”

Sen. Portman and U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced the legislation to specifically require the Defense Logistics Agency to issue long-term contracts for American-made PPE, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Portman’s office. 

“When I talk to PPE manufacturers about re-shoring this production to America, the number one thing I hear is the need for long-term contracts,” said Sen. Portman. “Multi-year contracts give producers the certainty to know that their investment in the United States will be worth it, because the government will be there to buy the PPE they produce.”

Re-shoring PPE production also would help the United States “continue to support a safe and effective reopening of our schools, workplaces and the economy,” Sen. Portman said.

The proposed measure has received support from Kimberly Glas, president and chief executive officer of the National Council of Textile Organizations, and Lance Keziah, CEO of Michigan-headquartered fabric company Crypton LLC.

“Workers and companies in Michigan and across the country know how to manufacture great products, and this bipartisan bill will help provide certainty for American companies to create jobs, make PPE and strengthen our ability to respond to this and future pandemics,” said Sen. Peters.