The United States is relying on rubber glove imports from mostly Malaysia and Thailand in the midst of the Chinese coronavirus, with no clear path for manufacturing the critical medical supply in the U.S.
About three-in-five, or 60 percent, of rubber gloves today are made in Malaysia, while the U.S. is making close to none, according to industry insiders who spoke to Breitbart News.
The coronavirus has hit Malaysia’s supply chains, making it increasingly difficult for foreign factories to keep up with the demand – an issue for the U.S. as rubber gloves are vital to protecting healthcare workers and patients from infection.
Data from 2017 shows the U.S. imports about 91 percent of its rubber gloves from Malaysia and Thailand. The U.S. exports less than 0.4 percent of rubber gloves to other countries.
Industry insiders told Breitbart News that only DipTech Systems in Kent, Ohio, is available to provide the machinery needed to manufacture rubber gloves today in the U.S. but that production may not be able to begin for up to 18 months.
The potential scarcity of rubber gloves in the U.S. is just the latest medical necessity that has underscored the nation’s crippling reliance on foreign countries through a 30-year free trade agenda.
Similarly, about 80 percent of pharmaceuticals imported to the U.S. arrive from Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, India, Denmark, Belgium, Canada, United Kingdom, and Japan. Around 80 percent of active pharmaceutical ingredients imported to the U.S. arrive from China and India, and 95 percent of ibuprofen and 70 percent of acetaminophen imported to the U.S. arrive from China.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.