The Eastman Kodak Company has secured a $765 million Defense Production Act loan to help the United States repatriate essential pharmaceuticals manufacturing.
With the help of the loan, Kodak will create likely 350 American jobs in the Rochester, New York, region and produce ingredients for drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and other essential pharmaceuticals that currently are predominately imported.
“This is not about China or India or any one country,” White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s about America losing its pharmaceutical supply chains to the sweatshops, pollution havens, and tax havens around the world that cheat America out of its pharmaceutical independence.”
Indeed, 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.
“Navarro’s focus upon bringing pharma manufacturing to the US is really important for health, jobs, and innovation,” Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) CEO Michael Stumo told Breitbart News.
“The President also needs to issue an executive order that the government will buy medicines and medical supplies from U.S. sources,” Stumo said. “Bringing back the production of medicines, medical devices, and medical supplies is a fantastic opportunity for COVID recovery, health-wise, and economically. I have been dismayed that many congressmen seem to be satisfied with allied countries making these products for us when we need the jobs and innovation here.”
The deal is the first time a company has secured such a loan under the Defense Production Act to help reshore manufacturing back to the U.S. In May, the Trump administration awarded a federal contract to Phlow Corp. of Richmond, Virginia, to move drug manufacturing home.
Eventually, Kodak Executive Chairman Jim Continenza told the Journal that the company expects production of drug ingredients to comprise about 30 to 40 percent of all its business. Navarro said he views Kodak as becoming an “arsenal of medicine.”
“We have a situation where 90 percent of the medicines that we take every day in this country, almost all the ingredients are made outside of the United States,” U.S. International Development Finance Corporation CEO Adam Boehler said in a briefing.
“This is a big win for New York and blue collar jobs,” Boehler said.
Drug manufacturing, if reshored to the U.S., would be a boon for the American economy, America’s working and middle class, and end the nation’s reliance on foreign countries for essential pharmaceuticals.
Reshoring all drug manufacturing, CPA economists reveal, would add more than 800,000 American jobs to the U.S. economy. American manufacturing is vital as every one manufacturing job supports an additional 7.4 American jobs in other industries.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.