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Congressional Measure Calls Out Pharmaceutical Industry’s Reliance on China

AstraZeneca's head China office / Getty Images
• March 26, 2021 9:00 am

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A congressional measure introduced on Friday in the House calls out the American pharmaceutical industry's overreliance on China, warning that "decades of policies rooted in socialism" have stifled domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing and left the United States exposed to "the hostile actions and unfair trade practices of the People's Republic of China."

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R., Texas), a member of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, authored the resolution as part of an effort to galvanize Congress into addressing what he says is a dangerous dependence on Chinese Communist Party goods.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have raised the issue in recent months as the coronavirus pandemic exposed gaping supply-chain holes in the pharmaceutical industry. China's efforts to hide the virus's origins from the international community are fueling a push in both parties to reevaluate America's trade relationship with the oppressive Communist regime.

The measure praised the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, primarily championed by congressional Republicans, which overhauled the American tax code to spur business growth and make the country more competitive in the international marketplace.

Prior to that law, which was signed by former president Donald Trump, U.S. companies were often forced to partner with China and move a significant portion of their operations overseas.

"The pharmaceutical industry has been particularly affected by the negative effects of these anticompetitive socialist policies, driving up prices and forcing private industry to offshore manufacturing processes," the resolution states, according to a copy obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. The coronavirus pandemic "highlighted potential vulnerabilities regarding the American health care system's reliance on foreign nations, particularly China, for medical supplies and pharmaceuticals."

The measure also highlights the national security risks associated with relying on China—a predatory country that steals sensitive U.S. technology for use in its military—for critical services and goods, such as medicine and other health-related supplies.

China prioritizes the production of cheap pharmaceutical ingredients to entice American and other Western business to set up operations in the country, increasing their dependence on the Communist Party. The Food and Drug Administration recently informed Congress that over the past 10 years, these companies have become almost wholly dependent on China.

Jackson's measure would ensure that Congress commits to combating "the present national security threat caused by the Communist Chinese regime and its attacks on the United States pharmaceutical manufacturing base." It also calls on lawmakers to reduce federal taxes and other regulatory burdens that are pushing the pharmaceutical industry closer to China.

Jackson, who advocated in favor of reducing America's dependence on China during his 2020 congressional campaign, said, "China's rapid military growth and predatory economic practices represent a dangerous trend that America must monitor closely and combat strategically."

Americans, he added, "must have access to their prescription medications even in the event of a large-scale military conflict with China." The new resolution "would send a strong message to the Chinese Communist Party: America will not turn a blind eye to Chinese aggression."

Published under: Big Pharma, China, FDA, Ronny Jackson