Monday | April 20, 2020

Scott, Carper, Menendez, Tillis Urge Chinese Officials to Adjust Export Restrictions Blocking Much-Needed COVID-19 Resources from Reaching the U.S.

In new letter, Senators express deep concern about unintended consequences of recent trade restrictions imposed by China and urge the Chinese government to ensure life-saving equipment can quickly reach U.S. health care workers and patients 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-SC), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) led a group of bipartisan senators in sending a letter to Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai expressing concerns about new requirements placed on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing kits and other medical supplies manufactured in China for export. The senators note that the broad restrictions have had the unintended consequence of blocking critical, high-quality medical products from reaching the United States in a timely manner.

In their letter, the bipartisan lawmakers urge the Chinese government to quickly work with the U.S. Department of State and other U.S. agencies to develop a more targeted approach to its new export requirements that does not prevent critical medical supplies needed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 from reaching American hospitals and health care workers.

“While we understand and appreciate China’s objective through this measure of preventing the export of low-quality products, these broad restrictions, unfortunately, appear to have the unintended consequence of blocking critical, high-quality medical products from reaching the United States in a timely manner,” the Senators wrote. “As the virus continues to spread, our states are struggling with shortages of testing kits, personal protective equipment, and other medical supplies necessary to respond to this emergency. These shortages are hampering efforts to contain the virus, and placing healthcare workers and their patients at risk. With this in mind, we respectfully ask that the Chinese government work with the U.S. State Department and other U.S. agencies to quickly develop a more targeted approach to its new export requirements that does not needlessly prevent quality medical products from quickly reaching the United States.”

Senator Scott was also joined by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Chris Coons (D-DE), Gary Peters (D-MI), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Ed Markey (D-MS).

Full text of the letter is available here.

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