House GOP Group Wants To Bring Supply Chains Back To U.S. From China

( Republicans in the House are moving forward to try to close a deal that would enact policies to remove American industries that are vital from China.

The House China Task Force, which was set up by GOP House members, released a report Wednesday calling for Congress to enact policies from the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.

Most of the policies contained in the act have already passed through the House. They mainly aim to reduce America’s supply chain dependency on China. The report says having such a dependency on China for supply chains of American industries are a risk to both the prosperity and safety of the country.

Florida Representative Michael Waltz, who was one of the people who helped draft the recently-released report, said:

“The next step is to get this NDAA, to get this defense bill — we sadly kicked the can on that to December — to get that over the finish line. I think it has a number of very good provisions in there. I think that’s the most immediate legislative vehicle.”

Since the coronavirus pandemic began in the U.S. in late March, Republicans have been pushing for repatriating supply chains back to the United States. This started in the wake of the U.S. having trouble getting medical supplies to front-line medical workers because of the reliance on supply chains that were based in China.

The report says that the move by the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission to take full control of logistics and medical manufacturing “down to the factory level” further shows that bringing supply chains back to America is necessary. This move by China allowed the country to significantly ramp up production of medical protective gear for them, but prohibited other countries from getting their own supplies out of China.

In addition to repatriating the supply chain, the report called for changes in law that would increase production of medical goods in the U.S., as well as reducing overall dependency on China. This would include the identification of “drugs, biologics, vaccines and critical medical equipment” as part of the national security strategy for the U.S.

One additional proposal revealed in the report could create incentives at a federal level for companies to produce active ingredients for drugs within the U.S. Currently, China produces roughly 40% of those active ingredients, which are used in many common drugs.

Waltz said the coronavirus was a “wake-up call” to the risks of having medical supplies produced overseas. He said:

“We found that we couldn’t get access to PPE, that we couldn’t get access to the drugs that we needed, and not only are they offshore, but they are controlled by an adversary. It’s a critical national security issue we have to address.”

Beyond just bringing back medical supply chains, the report called for doing the same in many other industries to avoid potential concerns in the future. Rare earth elements and semiconductor chips that are military-grade are some other examples.