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It is expected that any day now, the White House will release an executive order requiring certain drugs to be manufactured in the United States. It’s part of a wider push by both the administration and Congress to force the federal government to buy more American-made goods and reduce reliance on countries like China.

This push is misguided. The administration’s “Buy America” agenda would derail our response to COVID-19 and could have long-lasting negative consequences for our economy. The best way to maintain efficient, high-quality production of drugs and other medical equipment is to embrace a dynamic, global supply chain.

The White House’s draft executive order would require federal agencies to “maximize domestic procurement of essential medicines.” Congress has gotten in on the act, too. Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., have introduced the Strengthening America’s Supply Chain and National Security Act, the most prominent of several Buy America plans circulating Congress.

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Both plans would restrict federal agencies’ abilities to import crucial medical supplies from abroad. The executive order would force the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services to purchase all vaccines, pharmaceutical ingredients and more from American suppliers.

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