Medical Countermeasure Manufacturing Zones
A Proposed Tool for the Pandemic Response
Widespread and lingering shortages of medical countermeasures (MCM) continues to hinder the COVID-19 pandemic response. Shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) have placed healthcare workers, emergency responders, and members of the public at inordinate risk of contracting the disease; a lack of medical supplies has crippled some hospitals’ abilities to provide necessary care. The source of these shortages is a failure to invest in public health resiliency, including an overdependence on the global supply chain. To help solve this problem, this paper proposes the creation of a new special jurisdiction--Medical Countermeasure Manufacturing Zones (MCMZ). Industries operating in, or reshoring production of MCM to, these zones would 1) benefit from special tax incentives and 2) gain priority consideration in public purchases, including for the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). Priority purchasing consideration provides the strong demand signal industry requires in order to reshore production. Lastly, these producers would be required to sell to U.S. purchasers before exporting their goods during a declared public health emergency. Making products in the United States and guaranteeing sale of that PPE to U.S. purchasers would help to strengthen the MCM supply chain and ensure that supplies are available in times of public health crisis.
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