A US company that has been producing masks and protective equipment during a pandemic of the new coronavirus is on the verge of bankruptcy following a sharp drop in sales due to imports from China.
Industry experts point out that the prices of Chinese products are so low that it is almost impossible for domestic companies to compete, and many companies have already begun dismissing their employees.
Owners of these companies warn that if the United States faces a national health emergency again, its consequences could be devastating to the United States.
reported that at least three companies have stopped producing surgical masks and medical gowns.
Industry experts point out that the prices of Chinese products are so low that it is almost impossible for domestic companies to compete and many have already dismissed their employees.
A year ago, Virginia’s surgical mask maker has fired most of its 280 employees and has been forced to reduce production.
Brent Dillie, co-owner of a company called Premium PPE, told :
“Six months from now, many of us will be absent, and the next time a national health emergency occurs, it won’t be good for America.”
At the beginning of the pandemic, many start-ups, including Premium-PP, point out that health professionals are likely to contribute to the high infection rate of front-line worker protective equipment. Intervened to tackle a dangerous shortage.
China stopped exporting protective clothing at the start of the pandemic, but then returned to the market, but prices could be only one-tenth the price currently charged by US factories for comparable products. is there.
The Biden administration is currently under pressure to ensure adequate protection for health care workers in the event of another crisis hitting the United States.
Luis Argero Jr., vice president of DmeTech, a Florida medical suturing company that fired 1,500 workers making surgical masks earlier this month, appears on the factory floor.
DemeTech is concerned that the other 500 employees who manufacture N95 masks may also be fired in the coming weeks.
A one-year study by The Guardian and Kaiser Health News found that more than 3,600 US healthcare workers died in the first year of the pandemic, entitled Lost on the FrontLine.
Many of these deaths may have been prevented, according to a series of research reports, and the widespread shortage of masks and other personal protective equipment is one of the main factors contributing to the increased risk faced by health care workers. Identified.
According to Tim Manning, Covid-19 supply coordinator at the White House, the government is tackling the challenges facing domestic producers of PPE, but companies have a more substantive trade policy to survive. He says supply chain reform is needed.
Earlier this month, the CDC updated its recommendations, stating that fully vaccinated Americans do not need to wear masks outdoors and indoors in most situations.
Unvaccinated people are still at risk and are required to wear masks and maintain social distance.
In the United States, masks are still required for planes, buses, trains, other public transport, and transportation hubs such as airports and train stations.
Demand for protective clothing has fallen due to the relaxation of mask obligations, but the influx of cheap Chinese equipment is even more serious, according to industry insiders.
The American Mask Manufacturers Association, a trading group, told that 27 members had already fired half of their employees.
The group will file an unfair trade complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO), claiming that many of the equipment imported from China is sold at a price lower than the US production cost.
The mask is produced by a United Safety Tech startup. At the beginning of the pandemic, many start-ups intervened to address the lack of protective equipment for front-line workers.
Workers working at a medical mask and jumpsuit factory in Nantong, Jiangsu Province, China in January 2020.China exported more than 220 billion face masks last year
China exported more than 220 billion face masks in 2020, making it the only major economy in the world to grow last year.
In January, Commerce Secretary Qian Keming told reporters that China exported 2.3 billion protective equipment and 1 billion test kits in addition to masks last year.
According to customs officials, the mask shipment alone was worth 340 billion yuan (£ 38.5 billion). Customs spokesman Lee Kuiwen said, “(the amount) is equivalent to providing almost 40 masks to one person in a world other than China.”
Luis Argero Jr., vice president of Florida medical suturing company DemeTech, described the influx of cheap Chinese products as a “total economic war.”
Earlier this month, 1,500 employees who manufactured DmeTech’s surgical masks were fired, and another 500 employees who manufactured N95 masks could be fired within a few weeks.
He told : “China has a mission to prevent anyone in the industry from surviving, and so far they have won.”
U.S. mask makers struggle to survive as China floods the market with cheap gear
Source link U.S. mask makers struggle to survive as China floods the market with cheap gear