The Legislation Would Mandate Long Term Federal Contracts for Personal Protective Equipment to Incentive Domestic Manufacturing
May 21, 2021 – (Spokane, WA) – Unifire, Inc. (Unifire) applauds the United States Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) for passing the bipartisan Make PPE in America Act, introduced by HSGAC Chairman and Ranking Member Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH). This critical legislation will foster a domestic supply chain and create a robust industrial base to respond to national PPE needs by requiring associated contracts issued by the Departments of Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs to include a minimum duration of three years.
“We are grateful for the leadership of Senators Peters and Portman and thank the Committee for their expedient attention to the compelling issue of domestic production of essential PPE,” said Skip Church, President of Unifire. “Creating and maintaining a domestic industrial base is not a simple or easy task, and if the government creates incentives for the industrial base manufacturing these critical items, it will not only provide good, American jobs, but will also ensure a proactive and stable response to unknown PPE needs.”
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made it evident that the American people should not have to rely so heavily on foreign countries for personal protective equipment, and that’s why we must bring PPE production back to our shores,” said Senator Portman, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “With last week’s passage of the Make PPE in America Act in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, we are one step closer to making this important legislation law. Long-term contracts give U.S. producers, like Unifire, the certainty to know that their investment in the United States will be worth it because the government will be there to buy the PPE they produce. By re-shoring production of PPE, we can continue to support a safe and effective reopening of our schools, workplaces, and the economy.”
The bill defines PPE as surgical masks, respirator masks and powered air purifying respirators and required filters, face shields and protective eyewear, gloves, disposable and reusable surgical and isolation gowns, and head and foot coverings, or other gear or clothing used to protect an individual from the transmission of disease.
“We saw the alarming result of the lack of domestic supply chain for PPE last year when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and we cannot let our country repeat this mistake,” said Francisco Martinez, Chief Technology Officer of Unifire.” The Make PPE in America Act will go a long way in avoiding other instances where national emergencies require a strong domestic industrial base in place to address the resulting PPE needs. We urge the full Congress to pass this legislation as quickly as possible.”
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