On Friday, April 3, President Trump issued “Memorandum on Allocating Certain Scarce or Threatened Health and Medical Resources to Domestic Use” directing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FEMA, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to use the Defense Production Act to keep scarce medical resources within the United States for domestic use. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) subject to this policy includes: N95 respirators, and a variety of other filtering respirators; air-purifying respirators; surgical masks; and, surgical gloves.
FEMA and CBP are working together to prevent domestic brokers, distributors, and other intermediaries from diverting these critical medical resources overseas. To accomplish this, CBP will detain shipments of the PPE specified in the President’s Memorandum while FEMA determines whether to return the PPE for use within the United States; to purchase the PPE on behalf of the United States; or, allow it to be exported.
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