03.16.21

Senator Baldwin Pushes for Domestic Production of PPE

Baldwin’s legislation to provide $10 billion to secure critical materials and supplies to combat the pandemic was included in the American Rescue Plan

Senator calls for adequate funding to secure domestic sources for the raw material used for mask production

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is urging President Joe Biden to target funding from the American Rescue Plan to increase domestic production of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Baldwin’s legislation to provide $10 billion to boost domestic production of PPE and secure critical materials and supplies to combat the pandemic was included in the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress and signed by the President. 

In a letter to President Biden, Senator Baldwin writes, “As you consider which priorities will receive funding, I urge you to strongly consider dedicating no less than ten percent of funding to securing domestic sources of raw materials used to manufacture PPE, such as N95 and N99 masks. Specifically, I urge you to ensure adequate funding to secure domestic sources for the raw material used for mask production – non-woven medical grade ‘meltblown’ material.”

Senator Baldwin noted that last year, approximately 90 percent of Trump Administration approvals of N95 masks had been awarded to Chinese manufacturers.

“Our federal response under the previous Administration was hampered by the fact that the U.S. did not have sufficient domestic sources of critical PPE. This was exacerbated by a shortage of raw materials such as nonwoven meltblown material used to manufacture N95 and N99 masks,” Baldwin writes to President Biden.

Wisconsin’s Fox Valley is home to a number of companies that produce medical grade meltblown filter material, the key raw material required to make FDA/NIOSH compliant medical masks, respirators, and other medical personal protective equipment.

Senator Baldwin writes in her letter, “Making a significant investment in domestic manufacturers of this material will help secure a supply chain that is critical for our continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as future pandemic preparedness.”

The full letter is available here.