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BIO Welcomes Collaboration With New HHS, USTR Leaders

March 18, 2021
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The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) welcomes the confirmations this week of Katherine Tai to the position of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and Xavier Becerra to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 

The United States leads the world in biotechnology innovation, creating hundreds of thousands of good jobs. Our members are critical to addressing global health, agricultural, nutrition, and climate sustainability challenges. This includes the very important task of bringing an end to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

On the confirmation of HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, president and CEO of BIO, released the following statement:

“We congratulate Mr. Becerra on his confirmation to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.

“HHS has already played, and will continue to play, a critical role in ending this global pandemic, addressing health disparities, and finding solutions to other issues facing our health system.

“BIO looks forward to working with Mr. Becerra and his colleagues in HHS to defeat COVID-19, prepare for future pandemics, and promote patient-centered solutions that prioritize access and lasting biomedical innovation.”

On the confirmation of Katherine Tai to USTR, Dr. McMurry-Heath said:

“Trade policy has a critical role to play in helping the biotech sector fulfill its potential for the American worker and for humanity.

“The hundreds of small companies that comprise our sector especially need help in global markets to ensure a level playing field and to protect against the unfair appropriation of world-leading U.S. technology.

“Moreover, the importance of maintaining resilient and diverse supply chains, and refraining from export restrictions for COVID products is crucial as our sector works with global partners through COVAX and other initiatives to ensure that patients around the world get access to COVID vaccines and treatments.

“We look forward to working with Ambassador Tai, USTR staff and the Administration to achieve these goals.”

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