Responding to China and its veiled threats to cut off drug supplies, the Trump administration has announced a contract with a U.S. company to build a national stockpile of drug ingredients.
Richmond, Virginia-based Phlow Corp. will manufacture generic medicines and pharmaceutical ingredients currently being made in China and India.
Like millions of other China-made products exported to the U.S., China currently dominates pharmaceutical manufacturing for everything from ibuprofen to penicillin. As much as 80 percent of vital antibiotics come from China, for example, as well as key ingredients that make other countries dependent on the communist-led country.
Meanwhile, some GOP lawmakers have expressed outrage at China for its lies and deceit surrounding the coronavirus pandemic only to witness China's leaders brazenly remind the U.S. who controls the vital drug supply.
Such a threat didn't go unnoticed in the White House and on Capitol Hill, where China relies on Wall Street and U.S. manufacturers to lobby those same politicians on its behalf.
Rachel Bovard of the Conservative Partnership Institute says the Phlow Corp. announcement is significant since it means the U.S. is taking steps to build a “strong domestic capacity” to produce pharmaceuticals on U.S. property during a crisis.
She likens that plan of action to the U.S. strategic petroleum reserve, which exists to help protect the U.S. from threats to oil supplies.
Phlow Corp. signed a $354 million contract with the Trump administration this week to make key ingredients used for sedation, pain management, controlling blood pressure, and for antibiotics, NBC News reported.
Peter Navarro, the White House trade advisor, called the contract a "historic turning point" in President Trump's plan to bring pharmaceutical manufacturing and supply chains back to the U.S.
“This will take years to develop,” Bovard says of the manufacturing contract, “but it’s a significant step…”