This week, the Trump administration announced a deal with Kodak that will bring the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals back to the United States.
Something highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic is the United States’ dependence on other countries, like China, for pharmaceuticals. The point of this deal is to start addressing this problem.
Massive change coming
It does so by resurrecting Kodak, the one-time camera and film powerhouse. Under the Defense Production Act, the U.S. International Development Finance Corp. will provide Kodak with a $765 million loan that will help the company to start producing essential medicine ingredients.
According to a fact sheet released by the White House, Kodak will be able to produce 25 percent of the country’s generic active pharmaceutical ingredients. In case you are wondering what a camera company has to do with pharmaceuticals, Kodak was once a leading producer of organic chemicals.
“The Eastman Kodak research lab, in the latter part of the 20th century, was one of the great industrial research labs in the world, especially for organic chemistry,” Harvard Business School professor and former Kodak executive Willy Shih told The Epoch Times.
“A momentous step”
President Trump referred to the deal as “a momentous step toward achieving American pharmaceutical independence.”
“Our 33rd use of the Defense Production Act will mobilize Kodak to make generic, active pharmaceutical ingredients,” Trump said. “We will bring back our jobs and we will make America the world’s premier medical manufacturer and supplier.”
On this one, President Trump is also receiving the support of at least some Democrats. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) wrote on Twitter that he was “happy to have worked” on the deal. The Kodak plant where the ingredients will be produced is located in Rochester, New York.
“The fed gov took a smart step today in using the Defense Production Act,” Cuomo added. “Americans should never again rely on foreign supplies during a pandemic.”
Americans should never again rely on foreign supplies during a pandemic.
The fed gov took a smart step today in using the Defense Production Act to award the great NY company @Kodak a $765M loan for medical manufacturing.
We’re happy to have worked w/ the WH to make this happen https://t.co/DmzcqSzt9M
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 28, 2020
Following President Trump’s announcement, Kodak shares jumped by over a thousand percentage points. The company’s market value went from roughly a hundred million to over a billion in just a matter of days.
Let’s hope this is just the start of America regaining its independence on the pharmaceutical front.