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  • Poor prescription
  • America’s moves against Chinese biotech will hurt patients at home
  • The motives behind the BIOSECURE act are muddy
  • AMERICA’S CRACKDOWN on Chinese trade is broadening. On the campaign trail on April 17th President Joe Biden proposed tripling tariffs on steel imports, citing China’s unfair trade practices. Having choked off China’s access to advanced semiconductors and moved to ban TikTok, a Chinese-owned social-media app, lawmakers are eyeing a new target: biotechnology. The BIOSECURE act, which has bipartisan support in Congress, proposes to end government contracts for firms that count Chinese biotech companies as clients or suppliers. American officials have previously said they want to guard a “small yard” of sensitive technologies with a “high fence”. This bill illustrates that the yard is getting bigger, with sorry consequences for American consumers.

    It uses the threat of ending lucrative federal contracts to sever American firms’ ties with Chinese genomic sequencers, makers of sequencing machines and makers of large-molecule drugs such as weight-loss injectables. It extends the ban to any biotech firm with its headquarters in an adversary country, and mentions four Chinese companies by name.

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