WASHINGTON, D.C. – The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade Vern Buchanan (R-FL) delivered the following opening statement at a Subcommittee Hearing on Trade, Manufacturing, and Critical Supply Chains: Lessons from COVID-19.
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Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to take this moment to offer my condolences to the family of Congressman John Lewis. John and I worked closely together on many issues as members of the Ways and Means Committee, including as Chairman and Ranking Member of the Oversight Subcommittee. In particular, we collaborated closely on the Taxpayer First Act, the first reforms to the IRS in two decades. He was a remarkable man who dedicated his life to making our country better and more inclusive for all Americans. His wisdom and inspiring presence will be dearly missed in this Committee and in Congress, but never forgotten.
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this timely hearing. This important issue has been at the forefront of our minds as we have been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope we can work together to find bipartisan and commonsense solutions to make us medically independent, strengthen our supply chains, and create, in a seamless and nondisruptive manner, more manufacturing jobs and investment here in America. Thank you to our witnesses for taking the time to testify and share your views with the Subcommittee.
“This pandemic has shown us how important it is for us to be medically independent and to have supply chains that are reliable and flexible, no matter how they are structured. If we want stronger and more resilient supply chains here, then this must be the best place in the world to do business. I enthusiastically supported the pro-growth Tax Cuts and Jobs Act because it helped do just that by improving tax incentives to manufacture and conduct research and development in the United States, creating more jobs here at home. President Trump has enacted many common-sense regulatory reforms over the last several years that have also greatly improved our competitiveness.
“As we work together through the health and economic effects of the pandemic, Republicans understand that action is needed to make us more medically independent and prepare for future crises. The pandemic has showcased the urgency for having vital medical products like PPE and pharmaceuticals available quickly and reliably. We cannot rely on our adversaries, like China.
“This is why Committee Republicans have put forward the ‘Faster Cures through Innovation Agenda,’ which seeks to create and expand tax incentives to make the United States more medically independent. I’m proud to have introduced the American Innovation Act, which allows start-up businesses to expense more of their start-up costs and preserves important tax benefits like R&D credits in the hands of America’s innovators to develop new cures and treatments so they can be used when their exciting new products are brought to market.
“This package is just the beginning. Committee Republicans continue to put forward winning pro-growth proposals that will strengthen our manufacturing base and create more investment and production – and jobs – here at home. It’s vital for America to maintain its status as the premier location in the world for innovation and manufacturing. That’s the goal of the Republican pro-growth agenda.
“I have also introduced the Securing America’s Medicine Cabinet Act to create a new federal office to stockpile adequate supplies of critical medicines, encourage companies to ramp up manufacturing, and create the National Centers of Excellence for Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing to develop and manufacture more active pharmaceutical ingredients within the U.S.
“Another key consideration when assessing supply chain resilience is diversity of supply. Our allies play a vital role with us in making us medically independent and establishing dependable supply chains that isolate our adversaries while strengthening our global standing and increasing export opportunities for U.S. manufacturers. China poses serious risk for our supply chains and national security. Working with trusted allies maximizes our strengths and safeguards our role as a global leader in manufacturing and health care innovation. And it effectively discourages our partners from adopting localization measures that cut off our vital export markets.
“Mr. Chairman, this is not a partisan issue. I believe that we are both committed to ensuring secure and dependable supply chains that benefit Americans. Let’s work together to address the challenges we face in a seamless, proactive, and stable way that ensures our health, security, and economic prosperity.
“Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, for calling this important hearing, and thank you to the witnesses.”