[Senate Report 116-319]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


                                                 Calendar No. 622

116th Congress}                                           { Report
                                 SENATE
  2d Session  }                                           { 116-319

======================================================================  

                     PPE SUPPLY CHAIN TRANSPARENCY 
                              ACT OF 2020

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                S. 4158

          TO EXAMINE THE EXTENT OF THE RELIANCE OF THE UNITED
          STATES ON FOREIGN PRODUCERS FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE
           EQUIPMENT DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND PRODUCE
   RECOMMENDATIONS TO SECURE THE SUPPLY CHAIN OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE 
                               EQUIPMENT

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


               December 14, 2020.--Ordered to be printed               
             
                               __________
               
               
                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE                    
                           WASHINGTON : 2020                     
          
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------                
              
               
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin, Chairman
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             MAGGIE HASSAN, New Hampshire
MITT ROMNEY, Utah                    KAMALA D. HARRIS, California
RICK SCOTT, Florida                  KYRSTEN SINEMA, Arizona
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             JACKY ROSEN, Nevada
JOSH HAWLEY, Missouri

                Gabrielle D'Adamo Singer, Staff Director
                   Joseph C. Folio III, Chief Counsel
             Barrett F. Percival, Professional Staff Member
               David M. Weinberg, Minority Staff Director
               Zachary I. Schram, Minority Chief Counsel
 Christopher J. Mulkins, Minority Deputy Director of Homeland Security
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk
                     
                     
                                                  Calendar No. 622

116th Congress}                                           { Report
                                 SENATE
  2d Session  }                                           { 116-319

======================================================================                       
 
               PPE SUPPLY CHAIN TRANSPARENCY ACT OF 2020

                                _______
                                

               December 14, 2020.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Johnson, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 4158]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 4158) to examine 
the extent of the reliance of the United States on foreign 
producers for personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 
pandemic and produce recommendations to secure the supply chain 
of personal protective equipment, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon with amendments and an amendment to 
the title, and recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and the Need for Legislation..........................2
III. Legislative History..............................................3
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................4
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................4
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................4
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............4

                         I. PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The purpose of S. 4158, PPE Supply Chain Transparency Act, 
is to require the Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency (FEMA) to produce a report that assesses the 
supply chain for personal protective equipment (PPE) during the 
COVID-19 pandemic. Following enactment of this bill, the report 
must be made available within 90 days to the appropriate 
congressional committees and the public. The contents of the 
report must include the amount and variation of PPE procured by 
FEMA from foreign manufacturers, U.S. manufacturers, and 
manufacturers from the People's Republic of China. In addition, 
the report must also include legislative recommendations to 
improve the domestic supply chain of PPE.

              II. BACKGROUND AND THE NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Amid one of the most devastating public health emergencies 
in our nation's history, first responders and health care 
officials throughout the United States experienced severe 
shortages of PPE.\1\ The scarcity of PPE emerged as COVID-19 
spread swiftly across the globe, leading some foreign 
governments, including the United States, to implement 
restrictions on the export of certain PPE.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Andrew Jacobs, et al., `At War With No Ammo': Doctors Say 
Shortage of Protective Gear Is Dire, N.Y. Times (March 19, 2020), 
available at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/19/health/coronavirus-
masks-shortage.html.
    \2\Kay C. Georgi, et al., Reference Guide: Worldwide Export 
Controls on Face Masks and Other Medical Personal Protective Equipment, 
Arent Fox (June 3, 2020), available at https://www.arentfox.com/
perspectives/alerts/reference-guide-worldwide-export-controls-face-
masks-and-other-medical-personal.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In China, which prior to the COVID-19 pandemic produced 50 
percent of the world's PPE, export controls were reportedly 
exercised as efforts were focused on addressing COVID-19 
domestically.\3\ According to the Peterson Institute for 
International Economics, ``[a]s the coronavirus took hold in 
China in January and February 2020, there was a considerable 
increase in Chinese demand for PPE.''\4\ Consequently, this led 
to ``diminishing supplies available to the rest of the 
world.''\5\ However, in cases where PPE supplies from China 
were delivered, reports indicated that products were at times 
defective, rendering them useless in the response.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Chad Brown, China should export more medical gear to battle 
COVID-19, Peterson Institute for International Economics (May 5, 2020) 
available at https://www.piie.com/blogs/trade-and-investment-policy-
watch/china-should-export-more-medical-gear-battle-covid-19.
    \4\Id.
    \5\Id.
    \6\Alice Su, Faulty masks. Flawed tests. China's quality control 
problem in leading global COVID-19 fight, Los Angeles Times (Apr. 10, 
2020) available at https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-04-
10/china-beijing-supply-world-coronavirus-fight-quality-control.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the United States, our reliance on the import of PPE 
became evident as health officials quickly sounded an alarm 
warning of the impending deficiency of PPE inventory.\7\ On 
March 30, 2020, FEMA established the Supply Chain Stabilization 
Task Force, charged with ``[e]xecuting a whole-of-America 
approach to address limited supply of critical protective and 
life-saving equipment.''\8\ As part of this effort, the Trump 
administration initiated Project Airbridge, a public-private 
partnership that transported PPE and other supplies from China, 
cutting down the delivery time from approximately 30 days to 48 
hours, however, shortages of PPE persisted.\9\ This Committee 
has examined the contributing causes of the PPE shortage during 
the 2020 coronavirus pandemic through hearings, and other 
oversight.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Id. at 1.
    \8\News Release, Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA COVID-19 
Supply Chain Task Force: Supply Chain Stabilization (Apr. 8, 2020), 
available at https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2020/04/08/fema-covid-
19-supply-chain-task-force-supply-chain-stabilization.
    \9\Id.
    \10\See Evaluating the Federal Government's Procurement and 
Distribution Strategies in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Hearing 
Before the S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. & Governmental Affairs, 116th 
Cong. (2020) (question by Sen. Josh Hawley); The Role of the Strategic 
National Stockpile in Pandemic Response: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on 
Homeland Sec. & Governmental Affairs, 116th Cong. (2020) (question by 
Sen. Josh Hawley).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To strengthen the United States' PPE supply chain, S. 4158 
would require a thorough assessment, through a FEMA report, of 
its resilience and current state. This legislation seeks to 
contribute to multiple efforts to expand domestic capacity 
capability of domestic manufacturers to produce PPE and reduce 
our dependence on Chinese PPE imports. As healthcare workers, 
first responders, and other personnel continue to address 
COVID-19, it is imperative that they are adequately equipped 
with quality PPE.

                        III. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced S. 4158 on July 2, 
2020. The bill was referred to the Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs. Senators Margaret Wood 
Hassan and Rick Scott later joined as cosponsors.
    The Committee considered S. 4158 at a business meeting on 
July 22, 2020. During the business meeting, Senator Hawley 
offered an amendment that modifies the definition of personal 
protective equipment to align with the definition in the CARES 
Act.\11\ The amendment was adopted by voice vote with Senators 
Johnson, Portman, Paul, Lankford, Romney, Scott, Enzi, Hawley, 
Peters, Carper, Hassan, Harris, and Rosen present.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\Pub. L. No. 116-136, 116th Cong. (2020).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ranking Member Gary Peters offered an amendment that would 
expand the bill's reporting requirements to include a 
requirement that the Administrator of FEMA collect all requests 
from states and Indian Tribes for PPE and medical supplies and 
make recommendations to the President on utilizing the full 
authorities available under the Defense Production Act, 
including incentivizing domestic production of PPE. Among other 
things, it would also direct the President to issue rated 
priority purchase orders to procure equipment and supplies, 
including PPE, to address current gaps in medical supplies at a 
fair and reasonable price.
    Senator Jacky Rosen and Josh Hawley offered a second degree 
amendment to the Peters amendment to strike the Peters language 
and replace it with a requirement that FEMA ``evaluate and 
summarize'' how the Defense Production Act has been used during 
the COVID-19 response efforts and summarize recommendations for 
future use to increase production of PPE. Senators Rosen and 
Hawley modified the amendment to strike the word ``evaluate'' 
and require just the summary of previous efforts and potential 
future recommendations. The second degree amendment as modified 
was adopted by voice vote, as was the underlying Peters 
amendment as amended by it, both with Senators Johnson, 
Portman, Paul, Lankford, Romney, Scott, Enzi, Hawley, Peters, 
Carper, Hassan, Harris, and Rosen present.
    The Committee ordered the bill, as amended by the Hawley 
amendment and the Peters amendment as amended by the Rosen-
Hawley second degree amendment as modified, reported favorably, 
by voice vote. Senators present were: Johnson, Portman, Paul, 
Lankford, Romney, Scott, Enzi, Hawley, Peters, Carper, Hassan, 
Harris, and Rosen.

        IV. SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE BILL, AS REPORTED

Section 1. Short title

    This section provides the bill's short title as the ``PPE 
Supply Chain Transparency Act.''

Section 2. Report

    This section defines PPE and requires the FEMA 
Administrator to consult with the Secretary of Health and Human 
Services to produce a report detailing the resilience of the 
PPE supply chain during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. The report 
shall be provided to the Committee on Homeland Security and 
Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on 
Homeland Security of the House of Representatives, and made 
publicly available.
    In accordance with this section, the report shall include 
an assessment of the volume and percentage of each type of PPE 
distributed by or at the direction of FEMA that was procured 
from foreign and domestic manufacturers. Additionally, the 
report is required to include an examination of the volume and 
percentage of PPE (including defective PPE) from manufacturers 
in China. The report must also include any challenges 
encountered related to procuring PPE from foreign 
manufacturers, the forecasted demand for PPE on a monthly basis 
for the next year as well as an analysis of whether domestic 
production is sufficient to meet that demand, and 
recommendations to secure the supply chain of PPE. Finally, the 
report must include a summary of the use of authorities 
provided under the Defense Production Act in COVID-19 response 
efforts and additional options to use such authorities to 
increase PPE production in the future.
    Lastly, the bill includes a direction to amend the title of 
the bill to be: ``A bill to examine the extent of the reliance 
of the United States on foreign producers for personal 
protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic and produce 
recommendations to secure the supply chain of personal 
protective equipment and to expand domestic production of 
personal protective equipment.

                   V. EVALUATION OF REGULATORY IMPACT

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill and determined 
that the bill will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

    CBO failed to provide the Committee with a cost estimate in 
time for the final reporting deadline of the 116th Congress.

       VII. CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    Because this legislation would not repeal or amend any 
provision of current law, it would not make changes in existing 
law within the meaning of clauses (a) and (b) of paragraph 12 
of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate.

                                  [all]