WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the Coronavirus pandemic shines a light on serious vulnerabilities in the U.S. supply chain, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) today reintroduced legislation to increase access to capital for U.S. entrepreneurs looking to scale-up and commercialize their advanced manufacturing operations. The Scale-Up Manufacturing Investment Company (SUMIC) Act would establish a fund, administered by the Small Business Administration, that would offer federal loan guarantees to investors who invest in advanced manufacturing startups that make their products here in the U.S.


“The Coronavirus has highlighted our economy’s troubling over-reliance on China for supplies,” Booker said. “These vulnerabilities we’re seeing in our supply chain speak to our failure as a country to invest in our own competitiveness. To remain competitive and keep innovative technologies and capabilities in the U.S., the federal government must partner with the private sector to increase access to capital. This bill invests in the potential of entrepreneurs in the advanced manufacturing sector by providing them with the funding they need to scale-up and commercialize new technologies.”


Lack of access to capital often pushes innovative advanced manufacturing startups to other nations that provide lucrative financing opportunities to bring products to scale. This migration drains the U.S. of innovative manufacturing capabilities and high-paying, high-skilled manufacturing jobs.


Background on Senator Booker’s response to the Coronavirus:


Earlier today, Booker joined Senators Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) in urging the Senate to include paid family leave and paid sick days in any economic package it passes. Yesterday, Booker introduced legislation to eliminate patient cost-sharing for Coronavirus testing and treatment, and to create a special enrollment period for individuals without coverage. And earlier this week, Booker wrote to the White House about concerns that international travelers are not being screened properly at U.S. airports.


Last week, Booker wrote separately to Senate leaders and the HHS Secretary urging them to prioritize funding for state and local health departments, which are on the front lines of this public health crisis.


In January, as cases of Coronavirus began to spike, he and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) successfully pushed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for heightened passenger screening at Newark Liberty International Airport along with other U.S. ports of entries. Booker has also joined letters to the Administration urging it to establish clear guidelines for state and local governments to receive federal reimbursement for costs incurred dealing with the outbreak and to issue an emergency protective order to protect front-line workers.