May is World Trade Month — an opportunity to remind the Biden Administration of the importance of international trade. America’s biopharmaceutical industry, and the hundreds of thousands of Americans that it employs, depends on an open and rules-based global trading system to ensure that innovative medicines can be developed, manufactured and distributed to health systems and patients worldwide.
Below are four examples of how the industry and its robust participation in global trade contribute to the U.S. economy and American workers:
- America’s biopharmaceutical companies deliver economic value
The U.S. biopharmaceutical industry supports $1.4 trillion in economic impact (3.7% of total U.S. gross domestic product), with the ripple effect of R&D of new medicines supporting more than 4.4 million jobs across the country and benefitting suppliers and other sectors in every state.
- American biopharmaceutical innovators are major U.S. exporters
U.S. biopharmaceutical exports exceeded $82 billion in 2022, making our industry the largest exporter of goods among R&D-intensive industries. Exporting medicines enables patients around the world to benefit from treatments and cures made safely and effectively in the United States.
- America’s biopharmaceutical industry employs a large and highly-skilled workforce
The biopharmaceutical sector is a top U.S. manufacturing employer, with more Americans directly employed in biopharmaceutical manufacturing than manufacturing in iron and steel, aerospace, petroleum and coal, or electric equipment and appliances. In fact, 37% of all industry employees work at one of the sector’s 1,500 U.S. manufacturing facilities.
- America’s biopharmaceutical sector maintains strong and resilient global supply chains
Biopharmaceutical companies carefully build robust supply chains to maximize patient access to medicines. Despite unprecedented logistical challenges, the United States did not experience significant supply shortages for innovative medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic — a testament to the effectiveness of the industry’s supply chains and the importance of strong trading ties with trusted partners. For example, 87% of the dollar value of active pharmaceutical ingredients contained in U.S.-consumed medicines in 2020 were made in America or Europe.
Through research, development and trade, the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry drives innovation and economic growth. Click here to read more about how PhRMA members support American workers, as outlined in PhRMA’s May 2022 submission to the U.S. International Trade Commission.