US defends restrictions on Export of COVID-19 Vaccine raw materials says “Americans First”

US-defends-restrictions-on-Export-of-COVID-19 Vaccine-raw-materials
For the production of the COVID-19 vaccine, US has ramped up mostly by Pfizer and Moderna to meet the goal of vaccinating its entire population by July 4

COVID-US defends restrictions on the export of key raw materials for the manufacture of the COVID-19 vaccine, which threatened to slow India’s vaccination campaign, a senior State Department official has said that the Biden administration’s first obligation is to protect the American people needs.

US President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act on February 5

  • US President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act on 5 February to restrict the export of raw materials of the COVID-19 vaccine to boost domestic vaccine production.
  • Foreign Minister S Jaishankar raised the matter with Secretary of State Antony Blinken when he spoke on 19 April, and it was also taken up by Indian envoy Taranjit Singh Sandhu in Washington.

Also, read | In this COVID-19 situation Wastage of Single Dose of Vaccine is Criminal Crime- Delhi High Court

Biden administration on Indian’s request to lift the ban on the export of COVID-19 vaccine raw materials

  • State Department spokesman Ned Price said -The United States is first and foremost engaged in an effective and successful attempt to vaccinate the American people.
  • We’re doing that for a couple of reasons. We have a special responsibility to the American people.
  • American people, this country has been hit harder than any other country around the world more than 550,000 deaths, tens of millions of infections in this country alone, and COVID-19 vaccine here is very important,” he said on Thursday.
  • It is not only in the US interest to see Americans vaccinated, but it is in the interests of the rest of the world to see Americans vaccinated,” he said.
  • Price also pointed to arrangements between the US and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad members on vaccine production, including increasing production capacity in India but did not say whether or when the US would ease curbs on the export of vaccine raw materials.
  • The Secretary (State Antony Blinken) has repeatedly said that as long as the virus is spreading anywhere, it is a threat to people everywhere. So as long as the virus is spreading uncontrollably in this country, it can mutate and it can travel beyond our borders. In return, there is a danger beyond the United States.

COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India’s CEO, Adar Poonawalla, had appealed to Mr. Biden on Twitter to “lift the embargo of raw material exports” earlier this month. (The Serum Institute of India is the world’s largest producer of the COVID-19 vaccine)

https://twitter.com/adarpoonawalla/status/1382978713302683653?s=20

German chancellor Angela Merkel on supply of COVID-19 vaccine raw materials to India

  • He expressed skepticism about helping India develop its pharma sector, particularly as India strengthened its pharma exports in the context of the ongoing Covid crisis.
  • Merkel was quoted as saying by Politico, “We now have a situation with India where, in connection with the emergency of the pandemic, we are worried whether the pharmaceutical products will still come to us.
  • We have only for the first time been allowed India to become such a large pharmaceutical producer in the first place, also from the European side, in the hope that this should also be followed.
  • If this does not happen now, we will have to reconsider. Indicating that Germany might reconsider its industrial policies, Merkel said, “The truth is, we have not treated our pharmaceutical industry in this way for many years.

India is currently facing a horrible surge in coronavirus infections. The country on Friday added a record over 3.32 lakh new coronavirus cases in a single day taking the country’s tally to 1,62,63,695, while active cases crossed the 24-lakh mark.

The Biden administration recently conveyed to New Delhi that it understands India’s pharmaceutical requirements and promised to give the matter due consideration.

This article is published from a syndicated feed.

Why did Joe Biden invoke the Defense Production Act?

  • It observed that the current difficulty in the export of critical raw materials needed to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines is mainly due to an Act that forces American companies to prioritize domestic consumption.
  • President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump had invoked the war-time Defence Production Act (DPA) that leaves US companies with no option but to give priority to the production of COVID-19 vaccines and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for domestic production to combat the deadly pandemic in America, the worst-hit nation.
  • The US has ramped up the production of COVID-19 vaccines mostly by Pfizer and Moderna to meet the goal of vaccinating its entire population by July 4.
  • The suppliers of its raw materials, which are in high demand globally and sought after by major Indian manufacturers, are being forced to provide it only for domestic manufacturers in the US.

In recent weeks, India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu has been taking up the matter with the Biden administration officials.

During the telephonic conversation between US Secretary of State Blinken and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, the two top diplomats also discussed the coronavirus pandemic and ways to deal with it.

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