After pandemic, U.S. senators want review of drug supply chain
Republican and Democratic U.S. senators have called for a government analysis of foreign influence in the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain this week, saying the coronavirus pandemic has exposed an over-reliance on China and other countries for the production of essential drugs.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren have introduced the U.S. Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Review Act, this week. The bill will require the government to study the effects of relying on foreign companies and foreign investment for the production of pharmaceuticals for the U.S. market, and provide a report within one year, according to a copy of the legislation seen by Reuters.
“To defeat the current COVID-19 crisis and better equip the United States against future pandemics, we must take control of our supply chain and rely less on foreign countries for our critical drugs,” Warren said in a statement.
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Coronavirus Puts the Brakes on the Clean-Ship Movement
Members of the International Maritime Organization, the United Nations’ marine regulator, have agreed to improve fuel efficiency by 30% by 2025 and slash greenhouse-gas emissions by half by 2050 from 2008 levels. However, the coronavirus pandemic is dealing a serious blow to investments aimed at cutting shipping emissions with many shippers having to halt their plans for cleaner emissions.
The European Community Shipowners’ Associations, an umbrella trade body of vessel owners that control nearly half of the global commercial oceangoing fleet, says an industry survey in May found that three-quarters of its members would either halt or reduce investments in cleaner ships.
“While 26% of the respondents think their investment in greenhouse-gas emissions reduction would not be hit by Covid-19 once the crisis recedes, 30% said they would reduce investments,” the group said. “Some 44% suggested putting money into decarbonisation would no longer be possible.”
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Companies prodded to rely less on China but few respond
Disruptions from the pandemic has, on top of the U.S. -Chinese trade war have fuelled warnings that the global supply chain is relying too much on China and leaves global companies vulnerable to costly breakdowns in the event of disasters of political conflicts, This is why the U.S., Japan and France are prodding their companies to rely less on China in their supply chains particularly those within the smartphone and drugs industries, who were heavily effected by the pandemic. Yet, even after the coronavirus derailed trade, few companies want to leave China’s skilled workforce and efficient suppliers of raw materials to move to other countries.
While some industries, including the pharmaceutical industry are trying to reduce their reliance on Chinese suppliers by setting up new raw materials sources in the United States and Europe. Other industries such as consumer electronics and medical devices are sticking with their current Chinese sourcing plans.
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