WASHINGTON, D.C. – Myron Brilliant, Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement in advance of Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to Vietnam and Singapore, calling on the administration to surge vaccines and assistance to southeast Asia.
“Amid renewed waves of the coronavirus pandemic around the globe, countries across southeast Asia are facing their most severe public health and economic crisis yet. The Delta variant-driven rise in cases threatens to overwhelm healthcare systems and hospitals, and oxygen and other life-sustaining supplies are in short supply. In an interconnected world, the United States cannot return to strength until the rest of the world returns to health.”
“The U.S. economy is intertwined with that of Southeast Asia, and severe and prolonged disruptions due to COVID will impact critical supply chains in sectors from automotive and apparel to foods and footwear. American companies are already experiencing sourcing disruptions due to lockdowns and coronavirus cases in the workforce.”
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has lauded the important contributions and leadership of the Biden Administration in supporting pandemic response around the globe and we believe additional support is needed. The administration must do more to fulfill its pledge to serve as a vaccine arsenal for the world, particularly in the regions hardest-hit by the pandemic. We urge the administration to work with COVAX in expediting vaccine shipments to Southeast Asia, which has seen the fourth largest number of COVID-19 cases, behind only the United States, India, and Brazil. Without urgent action, we may see both an escalation of the humanitarian crisis and prolonged economic disruptions that could threaten global economic recovery.”
“The American business community remains an active and engaged partner to the U.S. government in this effort, leveraging the capabilities of our members to support vaccine delivery and provide medical supplies to impacted countries.”