The Point has been repeatedly writing about the importance of an export ban on PPEs and other medical equipment. On Friday, President Trump followed up on other measures with a qualified export ban.
America is at war against an invisible enemy. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the virus has led to wartime profiteering by unscrupulous brokers, distributors, and other intermediaries operating in secondary markets. This wartime profiteering is leading to hoarding and soaring prices for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like masks, gloves, and N-95 respirators, all of which are needed to protect American citizens, including our heroic healthcare professionals, battling on the front lines.
The ability of wartime profiteers to purchase domestic supplies of scarce and critical materials, hoard them while they engage in profiteering and speculation, and then export them can generate foreign demand, and lead to price gouging. This conduct denies our country and our people the materials they need to win the war against the virus.
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