April 24, 2020

CARES Act 2.0 Set for Congressional Approval
$300 billion is coming to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  The House and Senate have approved HR 266, the “Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act.” While there has been criticism of this program, focused on large employers receiving PPP funds, additional scrutiny would likely help to make certain small businesses receive funding. In addition, the House has created its own standing committee to review the implementation and administration of COVID-19 funding programs.

Elastomeric Respirator Guidance from NIOSH
NIOSH has published elastomeric guidance for COVID response. This document includes information about cleaning and decontamination.

DHS Export Restrictions on PPE
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and it’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published a temporary final rule to restrict exports of filtering facepiece respirators, elastomeric respirators, filters for elastomeric respirators, surgical masks, and surgical and exam gloves. Earlier this week DHS published a list of exemptions. However, a number of questions remain.

DHS gets the authority to restrict exports from a recent Presidential declaration invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) and delegating that law’s authority to DHS.  In the Temporary Final Rule, DHS notes it may use these new authorities to restrict other types of needed COVID-19 response equipment.

ISEA is seeking a meeting with DHS representatives to answer specific questions from members.

Commerce Department to Help Keep Facilities in Mexico Remain Open

A representative from the International Trade Administration (ITA) asked if ISEA members have operations in Mexico where COVID response equipment is being made or assembled. ITA’s DC office is working with counterparts in Mexico to urge the Obrador Administration and regional governments not to close workplaces making items essential to US COVID response.

If you have operations in Mexico that may be forced to close, please contact Dan Glucksman at dglucksman@safetyequpiment.org to be put in contact with the ITA representatives working on this.