In a press call this morning, senior White House officials laid out a $765 million deal with Kodak to develop ingredients for pharmaceuticals in the United States. Currently, the United States imports 90 percent of these ingredients from countries such as China. This deal, which invokes the Defense Production Act, will boost American production to 25 percent in the future, officials said.
Kodak was chosen because there are similarities between the manufacturing of chemicals for film and for pharmaceuticals. According to Peter Navarro, this initiative goes back to a conversation he had with President Donald Trump in February about how dependent we are on foreign drugs.
Navarro also touted this deal as a big blue collar job creator. Moving these manufacturing jobs home from countries like Ireland that provide tax havens for the industry will create up to 350 jobs at Kodak and thousands elsewhere down the supply chain. Kodak’s facilities in New York are sprawling and provide the ability to produce drugs on a mass scale while creating new jobs.
The loans to Kodak to bring this manufacturing online will be collateralized by assets, as well as performance contracts.
Navarro has discussed the move with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who promised to streamline the projects and to provide additional assistance from the state of New York. Cuomo will participate in an official announcement at the Upstate New York facility. Tt is estimated that it will take four to five years to get up to full production.