Vulnerability Statement on the US PPE Supply
HPK Industries has voiced concerns in reference to being the only continually operating, full service disposable apparel PPE manufacturer, with production facilities entirely in the United States since 1985. We have raised awareness to the venerability of the supply chain as a national security issue with the United States Government. Legislative change is need in order to prevent a catastrophe in the United States. During the 1990’s, the US Government transitioned its supply of PPE to commercially available products. Prior to this change products were manufactured in the United States specifically for the United States government, the military and various agencies. Making this change opened up supply to products made in foreign countries with low labor costs. This put American manufacturers at disadvantage to imported products as they could not compete against lower priced imports. Currently 99% of the US PPE supply is either Asia Sourced or Asia produced. This change saved the US Government money however, it exposed the United States to a potential situation of little to no supply in times of crisis, as there is very little capacity to manufacture products domestically if needed. U.S manufacturers will not make significant investments in a time of crisis, to ramp up production, only to have the product resume supply from lower cost offshore producers when the crisis ends.
It is our intent to raise awareness regarding the importance of prevention and readiness by creating and maintaining an infrastructure for an American-made disposable apparel supply. Currently, 99% of the disposable apparel supply is made outside of the United States, specifically China and countries located in Asia, putting the supply at risk in the hands of foreign government-controlled manufacturing.
During the relatively mild H1N1 outbreak of 2009/2010, two of the five foreign manufacturers that made America’s vaccines diverted vaccines intended for America to their own country, reducing the US supply. The US faced a similar scenario in the case of the COVID-19 infectious disease pandemic as it related to critical medical supplies. Simply put, the United States was not prepared to meet the needs of the country with its domestic manufacturing capacity for Disposable Apparel and PPE.
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As a result of the H1N1 outbreak of 2009/2010, in order to strengthen America’s future vaccine supply, the US government funded three domestic vaccine manufacturing facilities. The government believes that a US-controlled supply is a more secure supply.
In 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, HPK expressed concern to United States Government representatives about the availability of America’s foreign reliance on foreign supplied PPE and Disposable Apparel. HPK believes it is critical that domestic manufacturing capacity be increased by encouraging US companies to manufacture and source raw materials from companies in the United States. Medical Supplies manufactured in the United States should receive a preference on Federal Contracts for national security reasons. There needs to be US domestic infrastructure and domestic supply chain in place in order to protect the United States. We will continue to lobby the U.S. Government to issue Barry Amendment Federal supply contracts for these products. Currently, in 2022 the United States remains reliant on high levels of Asia produced PPE.
Please use the contact form below or call our legislative affairs department 315-724-0196 for specific inquiries.