NCTO Urges Govt To Institute 'Buy American' Policy For PPE

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The National Council of Textile Organisations (NCTO) recently urged the government to institute a ‘Buy American’ policy to help bolster US manufacturers producing personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic. The US department of defence already operates under a fibre-to-finished product ‘Buy American’ rule for military textiles.

“If the government is sincere about reconstituting a US production chain for medical PPE to resolve the drastic shortages we are experiencing during the current pandemic, it is going to have to make key policy changes to help incentivize domestic production. A strong Buy American mandate for these vital healthcare materials needs to be instituted for all federal agencies, coupled with other reasonable production incentives, to help ensure a strong US manufacturing base for these essential products,” NCTO president and chief executive officer Kim Glas said in a statement.

The department of defence rule ensures that the vital textile materials US forces depend upon come from a secure domestic production chain that cannot be severed during a military emergency by offshore entities, he said.

“Expanding domestic purchase requirements through Executive Order and other legislative initiatives will ensure that PPE production through US supply chains that have been created overnight don’t evaporate as soon as this crisis is over,” Glas said.

“While chasing the lowest cost import may have seemed cost effective at the time, these past few months have demonstrated that we paid a deadly price through this approach by jeopardising the very lives of frontline medical personnel that are fighting the pandemic,” he added.