NY Post Editorial Board Calls for Restoring Pharmaceutical Production in Puerto Rico

The editorial board of the New York Post called for bringing back pharmaceutical production to America on March 7, 2020.

In light of the coronavirus spreading across the globe and China’s growing influence on the world stage, conservatives are beginning to question some of the merits of globalism.

Conventional wisdom has held that increased global trade would be overwhelmingly beneficial to the U.S. and help reform governments abroad. However, all it has done is make the U.S. over-reliant on China for pharmaceutical production and leave it susceptible to the negative externalities of globalism such as the coronavirus pandemic.

The editorial board is of the opinion that D.C. lawmakers could “consider killing two birds with one stone by using the issue as a chance to give Puerto Rico a leg up” by bringing pharmaceutical production back to the island.

For decades, the island territory was “a central hub of U.S. drug manufacturing” and trying to bring back manufacturing to the island would be a good way of boosting American manufacturing while keeping China at bay.

Approximately 90 percent of the active ingredients that U.S. drugmakers use come from China these days. With Chinese factories shutting down due to the outbreak, America’s pharmaceutical supplies face major risks as the coronavirus is spreading throughout here. The Food and Drug Administration is worried that a shortage of generic drugs could occur.

This makes trying to bring pharmaceutical production back to Puerto Rico with the purpose of maintaining some domestic capacity a commonsense proposal.

In the 1970s, Congress facilitated the passage of tax breaks for companies that base their operations in Puerto Rico. Drug manufacturers took advantage of these benefits and converted the island into one of the world’s pharma production hubs.

However, President Bill Clinton signed a law that started to phase out the tax breaks during the 1990s. Once these tax breaks fully expire in 2006, the industry started to leave the island.

Policymakers should consider bringing back these strategic tax breaks.

This kind of “nationalist capitalism” is what’s needed to maintain America’s capitalism while balancing national interests.

We should not have our industries being captured by authoritarian governments such as China, when we could have policies that are able to keep manufacturing inside of the U.S.’s jurisdiction.

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