Last year, the United States experienced a severe shortage of infant formula. Excessive federal regulations and extremely high tariffs has caused severe market concentration, meaning a recall resulted in a cascading negative chain reaction. Prices skyrocketed and parents looking for food for their babies were often out of luck.
That’s an extreme situation, but it’s the type of situation proposed federal legislation is supposed to prevent. The Medical Supply Chain Resiliency Act would make it easier to eliminate tariffs and regulatory barriers between countries when it comes to medical goods. This would be helpful to consumers (who would have access to more and lower-cost products) and companies (who could sell more easily overseas).
The proposal is sponsored by Sens. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, and Tom Carper, D-Delaware. It creates a framework for the United States to enter quickly and easily into agreements with “trusted partner” countries (essentially those committed to open trade, rule of law and sound regulatory practices on medical goods). These agreements could be reached much more quickly and easily.
This act is especially important for Michigan, which is home to major medical manufacturers. (More twice as many people in Michigan work in health care as work in the auto industry.)
The proposed law is good economics. It eliminates tariffs, quotas and regulations that make it harder and more expensive to sell goods. It also speeds up the process for moving medical supplies across country lines.
Trade is essential to economic growth. It gives us access to more products than we’d have otherwise. And it opens up many more customers for businesses. Lawmakers should get rid of regulations that stand in the way of that.
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