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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump travels Thursday to the swaying state of Ohio tosign an enforcement order requiring the federal government to purchase somedrugs from American manufacturers, not from foreign companies.
The order, which Trump will sign at Whirlpool Corp.’s manufacturing plant. in Clyde, in the northern part of the state, instructed the government to develop a list of “essential” drugs and then buy other medical supplies from US manufacturers instead of companies around the world.
The White House says the order will protect drug supplies in the country and provide Americans with access to basic drugs and other medical supplies. However, the official trip also marks Trump’s latest to a state of battlefield at a time when the coronavirus has eliminated the regular campaign.
“President Trump understands that Ohio and Americans across the country must have access to life-saving drugs, especially as we fight this battle against China’s invisible enemy,” said Peter Navarro, presidential aide and director of the White House Trade Office. and production policy.
Navarro said the order “establishes rules for buying American for our government agencies, removes regulatory barriers to domestic pharmaceutical production” and serves as a catalyst for the manufacturing technologies needed to keep drug prices and onshore drugs low.
Trump’s trip to Ohio is the latest in a series of recent visits he has made to states expected to be key in the November election and is coming as he faces criticism again for his response to the coronavirus pandemic. , which killed more than 157,000 Americans, Democrats initially wrote off the country this year, but polls show alleged Democratic nominee Joe Biden with a slight advantage.
Trump moved Ohio to the 2016 election with a percentage of 8 points.
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Critics have accused the administration of being terribly unprepared for the deadly coronavirus and that the supply chain crash left the United States without enough tests and protective equipment to fight the disease at the start of the pandemic.
Trump says he wants to prepare for future pandemics by replenishing national stocks and returning production of critical supplies and equipment to the United States
Senior administration officials are looking for ways to reduce US dependence on drugs produced abroad.
About 72 percent of manufacturers who supply pharmaceutical ingredients to the United States are located overseas, and 13 percent are in China, said Janet Wooddock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, last October. Tensions between the United States and China are at their peak, not only over the coronavirus, but also over trade and territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
Last week, Trump announced a deal with Eastman Kodak Co. for the production of medicines. The administration plans to provide the camera company with a $ 765 million loan to open a pharmaceutical division.
The loan from the International Development Finance Corporation is the first of its kind under the Defense Manufacturing Act, a Korean war-era law that allows the government to direct private industry to produce weapons, vehicles and other materials for war and emergency situations.
The order, which Trump will sign in Ohio, directs the Department of Health and Human Services to use the Defense Manufacturing Act to procure essential drugs and other equipment from the United States, but does not specify exactly which drugs would fall under the requirements.
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It also aims to speed up the licensing process for local manufacturers of pharmaceutical ingredients and essential medicines by directing the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency to give them priority during the regulatory review process.
The White House says the order will also help prevent the trafficking of counterfeit drugs from third parties selling online involved in the government procurement process.
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During his visit to Ohio, Trump is also expected to highlight his efforts to support the country’s manufacturing sector, including trade agreements that the administration says boost job creation, business investment and manufacturing across the country. Trump is running for re-election at a time when the economy is ravaged by orders to block the coronavirus.
Trump’s tour of the Whirlpool plant is the latest in a series of recent visits to manufacturing plants in key swing states, including Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
The Whirlpool factory is considered the largest washing machine company in the world and employs about 3,400 people. In 2018, Trump imposed tariffs of up to 50% on washing machines imported from other countries in response to a petition from Whirlpool, which complained that Samsung and LG were flooding the United States with low prices on washing machines with foreign products.
Whirlpool said the tariffs level the playing field and allow him to add 200 new jobs at Clyde’s plant.
Trump must also attend fundraisers in the Cleveland area while he is in Ohio.
Michael Collins covers the White House. Reach it on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.
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