Trump to sign order seeking to boost domestic drug manufacturing

Trump to sign order seeking to boost domestic drug manufacturing
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE will sign an executive order on Thursday to require government agencies to "Buy American" for certain essential medicines, and encourage U.S. manufacturing of drugs.

The White House billed the order — which Trump will sign during a trip to Ohio, a swing state in the coming election — as part of the president's efforts to boost U.S. manufacturing.

White House adviser Peter Navarro, who is spearheading the order, also said it would reduce U.S. dependency on other countries like China to manufacture drugs that the U.S. relies on, especially during emergencies like the current coronavirus pandemic.

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"We're dangerously overdependent on foreign nations for our essential medicines," Navarro told reporters on Thursday.

The order requires the federal government to develop a list of "essential" medicines, and then requires that agencies like the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense purchase U.S.-made versions of those drugs.

Navarro said he hoped that requirement would "establish a base level of demand" that would encourage companies to bring more drug manufacturing back to the U.S.

Manufacturing drugs overseas tends to be cheaper, though, which could be a complication or risk increasing prices.

Navarro said another part of the order would seek to reduce regulation and accelerate Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency approval of drug manufacturing facilities in a bid to make domestic production easier.