Policy Studies Finance and Trade

Resisting Protectionism in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Key Points

At a time when policymakers in both parties are looking at ways of lowering drug costs, reshoring the supply chain would be extremely costly for consumers, dampen innovation, and hurt competitiveness for a global industry.
Data are imperfect, but we are not overly reliant on China for finished pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients.
Instead of sclerotic protectionism, the United States can secure its pharmaceutical supply chain by creating more trade agreements and pursuing smarter domestic policies to incentivize American pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Over the last several years, hawkish politicians in the United States have argued that we are too dependent for a number of important products on adversarial  countries like China. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, those arguments have significantly intensified, particularly with respect to products like pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.

Press release: Protectionism Won’t Protect American Access to Pharmaceuticals

Image credit:  Sisacorn

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