Congresswoman Lori Trahan Introduces Legislation to Strengthen American Manufacturing and Ensure Readiness during Public Health Emergencies
Trahan is advocating for inclusion of the bill in an upcoming stimulus package to help jumpstart the economy post-COVID-19
LOWELL, MA, May 11, 2020
LOWELL, MA – On Friday, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) introduced H.R. 6793, the Pandemic Production Act (PPA), transformative legislation that will reshape how the United States prepares to keep health care workers safe during future infectious disease outbreaks, including a second COVID-19 surge, while also reinvesting in quality, well-paid manufacturing jobs to get the American people back to work post-coronavirus. The PPA also removes politics from the decision to ramp up domestic production of necessary medical equipment and puts the health and safety of our families first.
“The coronavirus pandemic has shown just how dangerous our nation’s dependence on a foreign supply of medical supplies – including personal protective equipment to keep our health care heroes safe – can be. The Pandemic Production Act will ensure that our country is better equipped to deal with the ongoing pandemic while also preparing for future public health emergencies and providing an opportunity to put Americans back to work. This legislation is good for doctors, nurses, and first responders, good for workers, and good for the American economy. I’ll continue collaborating with my colleagues for it to be included in an upcoming stimulus package,” said Congresswoman Lori Trahan.
The PPA will curb America’s reliance on a foreign supply chain of medical supplies and technology, including personal protective equipment and vaccines, that has proved detrimental to our nation’s response to the coronavirus. Similar to the Defense Production Act, which provides direct incentives to the defense manufacturing industry to ensure a domestic production line of equipment necessary to protect our national security, the PPA will provide American manufacturers with critical federal funding to supply PPE to frontline workers and maintain domestic production of medical equipment, test kits, treatments, and vaccines.
Revitalizing the manufacturing industry will be key to reigniting America’s economic engine, and the PPA will directly contribute to that by incentivizing domestic production of medical equipment. Data shows that for every dollar invested in manufacturing, another $2.74 is added to the American economy, and for every manufacturing job, another five jobs are created. This investment will also be key for workers, many of whom will be in need of good jobs when they are able to return to work. The average manufacturing worker in the U.S. earns more than $87,000 annually, and more than 90% of workers in the industry have access to health benefits through their employer.
The PPA gives greater authority to public health experts to ensure that the decision to ramp up domestic production of medical equipment is done so at the appropriate time and free from political influence. Additionally, to provide adequate oversight measures, Congresswoman Trahan’s legislation will require that the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provide weekly reports during a national emergency – safeguarding transparency and ensuring that Congress is fully aware of the use or non-use of these resources.
A one-pager on H.R. 6793 can be accessed by clicking here.