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Groups Ask USTR to Combat Global Export Rules
USAgNet - 03/17/2020

The Consumer Brands Association (CBA) in a letter on Monday urged the State Department and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to prevent any global export restrictions on the materials needed to treat and prevent the coronavirus.

CBA asked for an increase in protections against other countries hoarding materials required to make products that keep American consumers healthy, like food and hygiene or cleaning materials

"Absent early intervention, Consumer Brands fears that efforts by other countries to restrict the export of base materials, nutritional and food inputs, chemicals and other essential manufacturing supplies and ingredients will prevent manufacturers from being able to increase production, ultimately leading to consumers being unable to obtain products that are vital to treating and stopping the spread of COVID-19 and remaining healthy," Bryan Zumwalt, CBA executive vice president of public affairs, wrote.

CBA noted that other counties, including India, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Russia, have enacted restrictions on exports of chemicals, medical supplies and other materials.

"If other countries were to follow suit by significantly disrupting the supply chain of these critical ingredients, it could substantially increase the risk of product shortages in the United States, and thus pose a serious threat to the public health." Zumwalt wrote.

CBA wrote a letter to Attorney General William Barr last week, urging for protections from price gouging of consumer packaged goods due to the coronavirus outbreak.

There are at least 2,300 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and 50 deaths, according to data compiled by The New York Times.

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