Virus Supplies for U.S. Stuck in China

China’s export restrictions are stranding the medical goods.

Medical products the U.S. needs to fight the coronavirus, and manufactured by 3M, Owens & Minor,  Cellex, Emory Healthcare, General ‘Electric and Perkin Elmer sit in warehouses in China, the State Department reports. Shortages of General Electric circuit boards also mean that a ventilator production line in Wisconsin has been nearly brought to a halt.

Face masks, test kits and other medical equipment cannot be delivered to the U.S. because of new Chinese export restrictions.  The new restrictions were designed for quality control. In order to leave China, the goods need to be certified by the country’s National Medical Products Administration, and many products must be checked multiple times. Their restrictions were put into place after European countries complained about the quality of products they received.

Some companies were able to get products shipped after negotiations with the Chinese government. Others remain in limbo.

China’s Washington, D.C. embassy said that worldwide demand for supplies has caused “a big challenge for China’s efforts of quality control and regulation of export.”

““We have been able to solve several problems. We’re just trying to find a workable way to get it done,” said U.S. ambassador to China Terry Branstad. “They want to enforce their laws and regulations… we’re trying to say let’s use some common sense in doing this and if it’s Food and Drug Administration approved and companies like 3M have already been shipping these things to the United States, it doesn’t make sense to hold them up when we feel confident that it meets the quality requirements that we have.”

Forty-three percent of the world’s imports of medical supplies were made in China in 2018, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economies.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • That the Chinese would relax their restrictions and get much-needed equipment shipped to the places where it is needed.
  • That American companies who manufacture in China would give serious consideration to returning their production to the U.S.
  • For healthcare workers and their patients who are in desperate need of the medical goods being held up in China.

Sources: Forbes, Wall Street Journal, AP


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