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Lobbying War: Chinese Biotech Beats U.S. Security Law

Daniel Kim Views  

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The U.S. Biosecurity Law has been halted due to active lobbying by Chinese biotech companies while it was expected to be enacted this year.

According to the industry on the 18th, Bloomberg recently reported that the Biosecurity Law was not included in the Defense Authorization Act amendment at the House Rules Committee meeting held on the 11th. The Biosecurity Law primarily restricts the business activities of Chinese biotech companies in the U.S. due to the fallout from US-China tensions.

The U.S. House of Representatives had initially proposed adding the Biosecurity Law to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment to pass it this year.

The NDAA, which oversees U.S. security, defense policies, and defense budgets and expenditures, has been enacted every year since 1961, passing through Congress and receiving presidential approval. If the Biosecurity Law were included in this bill, it would likely be enacted within the year.

The removal of the Biosecurity Law from the House Defense Authorization Act was primarily due to intense lobbying by companies such as WuXi AppTec and WuXi Biologics. These companies are in the industry most affected by the Biosecurity Law, as Contract Research Development and Manufacturing Organizations (CRDMOs), and their company names are explicitly mentioned in the bill.

WuXi AppTec dispatched executives, including Richard Connell, the representative for the U.S. and Europe, to Washington, D.C, last month when the Biosecurity Law overwhelmingly passed in the House Standing Committee. WuXi Biologics is known to be educating members of Congress by registering its manufacturing senior vice president, William Aitchison, and public relations director, Elizabeth Steele, as in-house lobbyists.

However, it is uncertain whether this omission will affect the enactment of the Biosecurity Law itself.

The reason for its uncertainty is that the flow of the Biosecurity Law has gone global as a Biopharmaceutical Alliance was launched with the participation of governments and private companies from five countries, including South Korea, the U.S., Japan, India, and the EU (European Union) already on the 5th.

The Korean Bio Association’s Vice Chairman Lee Seung Kyu said, “The discussion of the Biopharmaceutical Alliance of the five countries includes promoting diversification of the supply chain strengthening collaboration targeting China,” and added, “The U.S. government is pushing the Biosecurity Law agenda very strongly.”

The association predicted that while the Biosecurity Law has missed an opportunity to gain momentum in the legislative process by not being included in the House Defense Authorization Act amendment, it cannot rule out the possibility of being included in the Senate Defense Authorization Act amendment and being enacted separately.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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