Alliance News March 17, 2020

Lancaster County, South Carolina to Vote on Unprecedented Initiative for Life-Saving Medical Products Manufacturers

County looks to assist in mitigating supply chain disruptions

The Lancaster County Council and Lancaster County Department of Economic Development announced that a resolution is being introduced which county officials believe can begin to address the critical issue of the supply chain vulnerability of life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical devices/equipment (life-saving medical products) that exists due to many of these products being manufactured outside the United States. The resolution will provide unprecedented incentives for life-saving medical product manufacturers that commit to manufacturing those products in Lancaster County. Eligibility requires the products to be lifesaving, currently manufactured offshore and the company not owned or controlled by a foreign government. Life-saving medical products that have recently received federal approval for manufacturing and sale are also eligible.

If the resolution is approved, Lancaster County will provide the following to qualified projects:

  • 100% abatement of all property taxes for 10 years
  • Donated land at county owned business parks for the new facility
  • Fast track permitting for construction of the production facility

The resolution is the product of a concept proposed by Jamie Gilbert, Lancaster County Department of Economic Development’s Executive Director to County Council Chairman Steve Harper, after watching world events unfold over the last several weeks. Gilbert presented the initiative to other county officials and it was met with overwhelming enthusiasm. Gilbert says the Coronavirus (COVID-19) drew his attention to just how vulnerable life-saving medical products are to pandemics, natural disasters, war, civil unrest, trade restrictions and political agendas in other nations.

“The Trump Administration has made bringing back manufacturing operations to the America a top priority and that effort has been quite successful. One area; however, that is still very much in need of reshoring is life-saving medical products manufacturing. Both the Coronavirus and Hurricane Maria in 2017 caused severe shortages of some of most important life-saving medical products including surgical masks and IV bags. The fact that these products are manufactured in locations outside the United States that experienced catastrophic events was the primary reason for the supply chain disruption. The limited number, and in some cases total absence, of domestic life-saving medical products manufacturers here in the U.S. makes it nearly impossible to meet increased demands in the event of a national emergency. Many of our life-saving drugs are produced outside the U.S. and that presents a scenario where they can be withheld for political or trade reasons by the countries where they are based. That is unacceptable and inhumane. Production of life-saving medical products that Americans depend on must be in the United States. Lancaster County is willing to do our part to make that happen”, said Gilbert.

The resolution states that an unexpected interruption, shortage and/or lack of availability of products that detect, treat and control life threatening illnesses such as cancer, respiratory diseases, and heart disease can have adverse and dire impacts for those being treated, and is a critical national health and security issue. Lancaster County Council Chairman Steve Harper supports the resolution and says, “Lancaster County believes we have a civic and patriotic duty to do what we can to address the life-saving medical products supply issue. It’s the right thing to do. We hope that adopting this resolution will lead to other communities following suit. Like World War II, where America harnessed the resources of the private and pubic sectors and took an all hands-on deck approach to winning the war, we hope our action leads to others doing the same as it will take a national effort. The production of life-saving medical products that Americans depend on needs to be done here and Lancaster County wants to get the ball rolling.”

The resolution provides a limited window of time in which the incentives are available. The incentives are available to qualified projects that make a commitment decision to locating in Lancaster County on or before December 31, 2021. The timeframe is based on the urgent need to get the domestic production of life-saving medical products started.

The resolution will be voted on by the Lancaster County Council at their March 23 regular meeting to be held at 6:00 p.m. at 101 North Main Street in Lancaster, South Carolina.

For More Information Contact: Jamie Gilbert
Executive Director
Lancaster County Economic Development
803-288-4324
jgilbert@lancastersc.net


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