ICYMI: Hill Testifies on SAVE Act Before the Republican China Task Force

WASHINGTON D.C. —  Yesterday, Rep. French Hill (AR-02) testified before the Republican China Task Force about a growing threat to America’s supply chain and his bill, the Securing Americas Vaccines for Emergencies Act, or SAVE Act.

"When I saw the coronavirus spread through the United States in early March, I recognized the need for crucial legislation to amend the Defense Production Act (DPA). I created this bill to put the United States in a better position to defend herself in future emergencies. We cannot depend on countries like China for the critical ingredients that go into the pharmaceuticals that we use every day.” 

Watch Rep. Hill’s remarks HERE or by clicking on the image below.

Transcript of Rep. Hill's remarks:

Thank you for convening this set of hearings for Members to bring their ideas before you, and I commend our Republican leadership for forming the Task Force and the work you’re doing to bring the best ideas to fight the virus and restore our economy to full capacity while we deal with the issue of China.

I am really disappointed personally that Speaker Pelosi declined to appoint key leaders from the Majority. Our long-term strategy related to China – military, scientific, academic, and economic –must have a bipartisan approach to it.

Also, I am glad to see my friends from the House Financial Services Committee – Mr. Barr, Mr. Gonzalez, Mr. Riggleman; they've been a terrific leader on our committee on issues related to China that's been referenced today several times in terms of World Bank and one Belt One Road issue.

Today I want to turn my attention to testify in front of you about the Securing America’s Vaccines for Emergencies (SAVE) Act.

As we all know, on March 18, 2020, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA), a legacy of the Korean conflict.

Over the years, the use of the DPA has evolved and been reauthorized more than 50 times. It was amended to treat energy as defense production important issue –it was amended to include strategic minerals as a defense production initiative, it was amended to include technology. It was also expanded to go beyond the defense of the country to also dealing with national emergencies, including man-made disasters.

So today a broad set of authorities it provides the president can be used to ensure American manufacturing capabilities can meet our national defense requirements in times of conflict or emergency.

The jurisdiction for the DPA falls under the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy, on which I currently serve as the Ranking Member, and my distinguished friend, Mr. Barr, is a former chairman of that subcommittee.

That is why, when I saw the novel coronavirus spread through the United States in early March, I saw the need for crucial legislation to amend the DPA, and it was clearly apparent, so I introduced H.R. 6399, the SAVE Act, to amend the DPA to use its authority to include our medical supply chain, our vaccines, our pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. Senator Martha McSally has introduced the companion legislation in the Senate, and your colleagues Riggleman, Gonzalez are co-sponsors of this legislation.

We need to use our free market system plus the DPA to make sure we have a strategy to diversify our supply chain for our pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.

This bill, simply put, was created with the intent of making our Nation less dependent on one country, like China, and too few companies for the crucial and critical ingredients that go into the pharmaceuticals that our citizens use every day.

To put that in perspective, the impetus of the SAVE Act, a recent study from the Council of Foreign Relations shows that 97% of all antibiotics consumed in the U.S. come from China. We can do better than that.

Further, 80% of all active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) come from outside the United States, and 40% of all our drug final manufacturing is all outside of the United States.

My legislation requires the president to create a strategy to diversify our medical supply chain to ensure that America will not be able to be dependent on outside resources and it will have instead a reliable and necessary source of medical and pharmaceutical supplies in the short-, medium- and long-term.

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