World ECR: Drop export controls and tariffs on ‘critical materials’ to speed up coronavirus fight, tech giant tells governments

Health technology giant Philips has called on all governments to drop export controls and tariffs on ‘critical materials and components’ to speed up a global response to the devastating coronavirus pandemic.

The Dutch multinational said it is ‘calling on governments to facilitate enhanced access to critical materials and components by not imposing restrictions such as export controls and tariffs.’ It said governments should ‘provide help to accelerate logistics, as well as exemptions for critical suppliers from lockdown measures.’

Philips is boosting production of certain equipment which is used to diagnose and treat the Covid-19 virus. It said it is ‘ramping up the production of hospital ventilators and plans to double production within the next eight weeks and achieve a four-fold increase by the third quarter of 2020.’

A global shortage of respirators, which is expected to worsen as the virus continues to spread, is causing panic around the world.

Philips said it wants critical medical equipment such as hospital ventilators and patient monitors to be ‘made available across the world, prioritizing those communities and countries that need it the most.’