Weekly Policy Update: President Trump Issues ‘Buy American’ Executive Order
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 08/16/2020
President Trump recently issued an executive order intended to increase federal support for the domestic manufacture of “essential medicines,” “medical countermeasures,” and “critical inputs” through procurement preferences and other regulatory measures.
While the order does not require any manufacturer to physically move production of any particular medicines back to the U.S., it does direct federal agencies involved in contracting for these essential medical products to apply preferences aimed at increasing procurement of products made domestically. “Essential medical products” will be defined by the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Defense. Notably, the order provides each agency head with significant flexibility to waive these ‘Buy American’ preferences if sufficient supplies do not exist domestically or if other exceptions apply.
The executive order also directs agencies to investigate whether any current regulation stands as a barrier to increased domestic production and specifically directs the FDA to accelerate the review and approval of domestically manufactured essential medicines.
Lastly, the order directs the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to modify trade agreements with the aim of allowing preferential procurement of domestically produced products in the U.S. market and to permit the imposition of tariffs on imported medicines.
CBSA is working closely with our members and industry partners to ensure the Administration and Congress understand the complexities of medical supply chain as they work to incentivize domestic production. We will continue to provide updates to our community as we learn more from the relevant federal agencies about how the order will be implemented.