FILE – In this March 31, 2017 file photo, National Trade Council adviser Peter Navarro appears before President Donald Trump arrives to sign executive orders regarding trade in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington. After striking a delicate deal with the United Arab Emirates on rules for airline competition, the Trump administration went to war with itself about what the agreement actually said. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro repeatedly contradicted the State Department’s carefully crafted script. Behind the scenes, a dizzying scene of one-upmanship, word games and subtle subterfuge played out, magnified by lobbyists seeking to exploit divisions within the Trump administration. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
The Daily Beast has obtained a draft copy of trade adviser Peter Navarro’s executive order that would start the process of moving the medical supply chain back to the U.S. in response to shortages brought about by the coronavirus crisis.
But they want you to know, it’s not good. And there are inter-administration squabbles about it. Because Navarro is a china hawk.
So now that that’s out of the way, here’s what is reportedly does:
Navarro’s executive order, titled “Combat Public Health Emergencies and Strengthen the National Defense by Ensuring Made in America Essential Medicines and Medical Countermeasures,” is designed to lure companies to the U.S. and to incentivize more domestic production in the long term. One section allows for any executive agency or department to procure essential medicines and other supplies from “any sources during the COVID-19 outbreak.” But in the next several lines, the order says officials have to “take all possible measures” to “maximize domestic procurement of essential medicines” over the long term.
The order says it is the policy of the U.S. to “protect our citizens… against the outbreak of dangerous infectious diseases” and “restore the capabilities of our Public Health Industrial Base that are essential for the national defense and the development of production capabilities.”
The draft executive order goes on to lay out U.S. policy as it relates to the supply chain of medical supplies, stating that the U.S. should “ensure sufficient, stable and reliable long term demand for essential medicines and medical countermeasures through domestic procurement policies.” In doing so, under the executive order, the U.S. would accelerate the regulatory approval times for medicines and increase enforcement of FDA regulations outside the U.S. to the same level that is enforced in the U.S.
In short, writes The Daily Beast, the EO — which the outlet insists was demanded by Trump — “lays out a slew of policies that would ultimately curb the importing of foreign goods and create conditions that would allow for the increased production of American medicines, raw materials, and vaccines. The order is similar in language and tone to Trump’s April 2017 executive order ‘Buy American Hire American.'”
Navarro himself told Fox News, citing VA [Veterans Affairs], HHS [Health & Human Services], and the DOD [Defense Department are], that Americans suffer from an over-reliance on China for many of our medical supplies, include the active agents in pharmaceuticals themselves.
Navarro said he was working with President Trump to finalize an executive order which would provide long-term incentives for American companies to produce medications and medical supplies locally.
“What we’ve got to do is three things,” he explained. “We are going to have to buy American, we are going to deregulate so we can get things done faster, and most importantly, we are going to innovate to keep prices down.”
The desire to shift the supply chain has gained steam in the wake of the coronavirus crisis due not only to shortages but because China openly threatened to impose pharmaceutical export controls that would leave America adrift in “the mighty sea of coronavirus.”