Senators Carper and Tillis Introduce Bill to Strengthen Medical Supply Chains and Boost U.S. Economic Resilience

Senators’ legislation would help safeguard against future health crises

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced the Medical Supply Chain Resiliency Act, bipartisan legislation that would authorize the President to engage in trade negotiations in order to ensure that critical medical goods and services are delivered safely, swiftly, and efficiently to patients in the United States and around the world. The President would be able to negotiate with a group of “trusted trading partners,” countries with a demonstrated commitment to global health security, rule of law, and transparency.

The COVID-19 pandemic presented significant challenges for supply chains around the world, which disproportionately hampered health care providers’ access to medical devices, treatments, and equipment at a time when these products were desperately needed. By expanding U.S. engagement with our allies across the globe, this legislation would combat shortages of medical products and supplies by strengthening supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against future health crises.

“The pandemic wreaked havoc on our communities and caused our medical supply chains to break down during the worst possible time. We must prevent these same horrible losses from happening again by working together to fix our broken supply chains and better prepare for future public health emergencies,” said Senator Carper. “This bipartisan legislation will help mitigate trade challenges by authorizing the President to work more closely with our global partners and take action to ensure that health care providers and patients can access life-saving medical products when they need them the most.”

“The pandemic caused major disruptions across nearly all supply chains, and these challenges disproportionately impacted our health care supply chain – from medical devices to life-saving medicines to personal protective equipment (PPE). Now is the time to address the long-standing shortcomings in our supply chains that were highlighted over the pandemic, repair the damage done, and ensure America is adequately prepared for future national security and public health threats,” said Senator Tillis. “This legislation will result in a more resilient, strategic supply chain to safeguard American’s access to critically-important medical products.”

Senator Carper has been a leader in increasing access to medical supplies for the U.S and across the globe. He led a bipartisan group of senators in urging the Biden Administration to reduce trade barriers for medical products, and recently, he led bipartisan efforts to support intellectual property protections for COVID therapeutics and diagnostics. As a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee and Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee, Senator Carper has focused subcommittee hearings on issues related to medical products and supply chain resiliency.

The full bill text is available here.