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America's Medical Friendshoring Solution

Establishing a Middle East Staging Ground for Collaboration

What is friendshoring?

  • Friendshoring is the practice of relocating supply chains to countries where the risk of disruption from political chaos and geopolitical tension is low.

  • America's Medical Friendshoring Solution is intended to help relieve geopolitical tensions by promoting alternative globalization solutions. Economically speaking, it is meant to promote supply chain resiliency and avoid business disruptions. 

  • Bonnie Glick, formerly USAID's deputy administrator, introduced the concept of ally-shoring roughly one year into the COVID-19 pandemic. Shortly after, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was accredited for coining the term friendshoring.


  • According to a recent survey conducted by Forbes and Zogby Strategies, approximately half of U.S. CEOs whose companies depend on external manufacturing to produce and deliver their goods have plans to reshore operations in 2023.


  • With supply chains trends on the cusp of significant reevaluation in 2023, cross-sector industries in the U.S. are wisely leaning on alternate supply chain options by exploring various “shoring strategies” including nearshoring, onshoring, reshoring and friendshoring.


Why does the U.S. need America's Medical Friendshoring Solution


  • The retail and technology industries have already made progress adapting to take on new and multiple suppliers; it’s imperative that America’s healthcare industry take a page from retail and tech’s playbooks.


  • America is in an acutely vulnerable position relying so heavily on one supplier and a disruption to America’s healthcare supply chain could lead to a potential national security crisis. 


How is America’s national security at risk?


  • As witnessed firsthand during the COVID-19 pandemic, relying primarily on one main supply source for critical life-saving medications, healthcare devices, and pharmaceuticals is extremely risky.


  • American military troops and hospital resources are in most immediate need of these medical and pharmaceutical supplies. Relying on one main supply source places them and the American population in a vulnerable position that could lead to devastating shortages and skyrocketing costs if anything were to disrupt this fragile supply chain. 


  • China currently holds a manufacturing monopoly on American healthcare needs, including medical devices, pacemakers, saline solution, tubing, contrast agents and more.


  • In 2019, China was responsible for 95% of U.S. imports of ibuprofen, 91% of hydrocortisone, 70% of acetaminophen, 40–45% of penicillin, and 40% of U.S. imports of heparin.


Is America's Medical Friendshoring Solution time sensitive? 


  • Escalating tensions between the United States and China continue to place America in a vulnerable position as China remains the primary supplier of our essential medical and pharmaceutical goods.


  • With budget appropriations expected in May 2023, legislative action may be pursued.  


Who will America friendshore with? 


  • Thanks to the 2020 Abraham Accords agreement brokered by the U.S., peace, economic growth, and medical innovation have flourished among these strategic and amicable partners. 


  • The Abraham Accords countries – Israel, UAE, Bahrain and Morocco - offer an opportunity for the U.S. to diversify and fortify our essential medical and pharmaceutical supply chain, shifting our over-dependence away from China. 


Why are the Abraham Accords countries the ideal partners?


  • Israel is already a strong ally of America, and both Israel and the UAE are on the cutting edge of some of the world’s leading technology and healthcare solutions. They also boast robust biopharmaceutical industries that would greatly benefit the U.S.


  • The UAE has already invested billions of dollars to attract, build, and expand both physical and intellectual infrastructure for medical technology development. According to a November 2021 report, the UAE intends to boost investments in the pharmaceutical industry by 20% and widen its export reach in the region.


  • Morocco is also well suited because of its strategic location, price competitiveness, and developed infrastructure compared to the rest of Africa. Firms from Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the United States are already investing millions of dollars in bolstering and expanding their drug production facilities in Morocco.


Why is an FDA bureau in the Middle East necessary?


  • If an FDA bureau is established in one of the Abraham Accords countries, it will be strategically positioned to help the U.S. resolve its healthcare supply chain crisis.


  • The creation of an FDA Abraham Accords bureau would accelerate research and development of new healthcare and biomedical technologies. The FDA’s regulatory advice would facilitate the USFDA review of clinical trials, scientific design, and provide advice pertinent to agency guidance documents and regulatory trends. 


What is USIEA’s role in America's Medical Friendshoring Solution?

  • The impetus behind America's Medical Friendshoring Solution was borne out of USIEA’s Congressional tour to Israel in August 2019 and has since gained favorable momentum among bipartisan members of Congress who are concerned about America’s overreliance on China.


  • USIEA is serving as an informational resource to bipartisan Congressional leaders about the recommended practical steps to establishing an FDA bureau in one of the Abraham Accord countries.

Who is USIEA? 

  • U.S. Israel Education Association (USIEA) is a nonprofit organization that helps improve U.S.-Israel relations by fostering educational discussions with American and Israeli bipartisan government leaders and industry experts. 

Is there bipartisan support for America's Medical Friendshoring Solution?

  • Yes. USIEA has made great strides by educating and building relationships with bipartisan members of Congress and earning their support. 

As of August 2023, there is an active effort in both the House and the Senate to move this initiative forward due to USIEA's educational efforts. 

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