No country can fight COVID-19 alone. Governments around the world are grappling with unprecedented challenges as they tackle the COVID-19 global pandemic. The United States is significantly increasing production of materials domestically while working through appropriate channels to purchase excess supplies from other nations to meet our needs. We are working in solidarity with our partners to provide humanitarian assistance to countries in need, while at the same time taking all possible measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the United States. We are doing our part to increase supply chain input and output, including unprecedented steps to ramp up the production of key equipment such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators.
We have received numerous queries about the ability to obtain medical supplies from the United States, such as PPE, ventilators, test kits, medical devices, and other goods as commercial exports. While a range of items are identified as in scarce supply, it is only a subset of these items that are presently subject to export review.
The Defense Production Act authorized the specific review for export of certain PPE by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to ensure the availability of needed items for domestic use. In making its determination, FEMA has made clear that it will consider international supply chains as well as diplomatic and humanitarian considerations. Although FEMA may later add additional categories of scarce or threatened medical supplies if in the national interest, ventilators do not require explicit FEMA approval for export.
We are working with partners to ensure the flow of vital medical supplies, critical agricultural products, and other goods and services across borders and will resolve disruptions to the global supply chains to support the health and well-being of all people.
False narratives and unfounded allegations regarding the U.S. response to COVID-19 have sought to disrupt the strong relationships the United States enjoys with Barbados and the countries of the Eastern Caribbean. The United States stands with its Caribbean neighbors, and we will continue to do so until and after COVID-19 is defeated.