Small-scale U.S. manufacturers who rushed to make face masks last year now have hundreds of millions of face masks because China is flooding the market with cheap masks and many US masks manufacturers will not survive the epidemic.
This is the purpose of a letter to President Joe Biden released Tuesday by a business group representing 26 small-scale manufacturers that have developed the much-needed security equipment when the health crisis hit last year.
The producers say more than half of their produce will be forced to go online within 60 days if they do not receive federal assistance, which costs thousands of jobs. He criticizes cheap prices, especially from China.
“We are writing to you with a request for immediate assistance in non-international trade activities that threaten U.S. retail production, as well as future U.S. disaster relief efforts,” the newly formed American Mask Manufacturer’s Association said in a statement.
The group has been able to produce 3.7 billion masks with more than 1 billion high-quality N95 protective masks per year – and now lives in 260 million surgical packages in their hard-to-reach storage facilities. Another 20 million N-95s are also on factory shelves.
After the masks disappeared last year, prices went up. But prices have fallen now, and hospital administrators and others are buying the best prices in the market for new offerings.
A box of 50 surgical masks that sold for more than $ 50 last year can now be found for $ 5 now.
The trade group says that although there are three to six cents for each surgical mask, Chinese exported masks now sell for an average of one. “China … is throwing masks on the US market at a really cheap price.”
“If that doesn’t change, 54% of our products will be offline within 60 days and 84.6% within a year,” the group said in a statement. The group said it had created more than 7,800 jobs in the US last year but that almost a third of the population had already lost their jobs due to the cuts.
Biden officials have promised to look for ways to cooperate with the manufacturer of self-defense equipment – including ways to raise money for US manufacturers – but government scrutiny is still ongoing.
“The idea that everyone talked about in times of crisis – that we should prevent it (the lack of PPE) from happening again – hasn’t changed the profit-making organizations,” said James Wyner, chief executive of Shawmut Corp, West Bridgewater, Massachusetts manufacturer of sophisticated materials. in times of trouble. “These retailers continue to buy their products at very low prices.”
Wyner said he is selling masks from new production lines, but “much less than we would like”.
Adam Albrecht, chief executive of Indiana Face Mask, a smaller manufacturer, said when the company began making the most advanced N-95 filters last year: “People came out of the woods, saying: ‘We can sell this, we can sell this.’ no matter how much we change the price, the Chinese stay below. ”
Some small shell makers are confident of survival.
Dan Izhaky, who together with his partner invested $ 4m in a new factory outside of Los Angeles, said the problem is huge for those who make surgical masks, protective masks that are easy to make.
Izhaky’s company manufactures N-95’s sophisticated masks and said it will continue to grow. “But we also hope that Biden’s management will take a number of steps along the way to help us become more stable,” he said.
The mask marketing group – which does not include corporate giants such as 3M Co and Honeywell International Inc – has urged Biden management to take immediate action to help the companies.
Their idea includes asking the federal government and any other agency to get federal dollars to buy protective equipment to buy only US-made masks that comply with government regulations on household items and to remove federal-class masks that do not comply with government regulations.
He also demanded that administrators request every hospital that receives funding to allocate 40 percent of its PPE to domestic producers by 2023.
He also asked the government to consider purchasing 260 million masks that are now stored in new factories.