Protectionism is designed to make imports unprofitable and favor domestic companies. Unlike "buy American", which appeals to emotion and is fine marketing, protectionism gives mandates and therefore subsidies to companies, which means higher prices.
In this case, it also means when there is a 40 percent shortage, infants at risk.
But protectionism isn't the only problem, it is also FDA's label fetish. We live in a bureaucracy so vast that despites shortages of insulin, which is a generic, companies can't get into the business because FDA makes the cost too high. The same for things like epi-pens, which is also generic but Mylan can price gouge because the cost to create a competitor is the same as inventing a new heart medication.
It costs millions of dollars and takes 18 months to change a color on a label, and labeling is why German importa of formula can't be sold here - not being American, they don't have an FDA label. There is nothing unsafe about it, it is illegal because of the label.
Now the Biden administration is making it worse by getting a permanent injunction against Abbott Nutrition. Obviously there should be fines and the company should have to show they meet safety standards but instead the government has chosen to run a company out of the market, while making sure no one else can get in.
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