Fox News Interview

NY PPE manufacturer says pandemic highlights importance of domestic manufacturing amid increased outsourcing

HPK was started in 1985 and has a domestic supply chain.

The president of an American-owned personal protective equipment manufacturer who sources and produces entirely in the United States warned that endangering the future of American industry and domestic manufacturing could be catastrophic for supply chains and for everyday Americans

Michael Liberatore, president of HPK Industries in Frankfort, New York – outside Utica – told “The Ingraham Angle” that his company’s strength is the fact his products are American-made, and that that strength was exemplified in spades when the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020.

Liberatore told host Laura Ingraham that 99% of the PPE used in the U.S. is either Asia-sourced or Asia-produced – which caused an immediate snag when transoceanic trade ground to a halt early in the pandemic.

Liberatore responded that HPK was the only company in the PPE sector that “manufactures all my products in the United States.”

He explained that HPK was able to continue production without a hitch and was not at all dependent on foreign countries to continue his manufacturing – and thereby continue employing and paying his workforce.

“When the pandemic came about, I had millions of pounds of PPE fabric in my warehouse here in upstate New York, so we were in a unique position because I had the raw materials. I had everything that I needed [when] my business really exploded during 2020.”

While other companies during the pandemic suffered supply chain disruptions and had to lay off workers for one reason or another, HPK “tripled” its workforce, Liberatore told Fox News.

HPK also erected a new building during the pandemic, and Liberatore gave some credit to the then-Andrew Cuomo administration for helping that project get off the ground.

Ingraham went on to note that many companies and managers like to point to the fact foreign labor is usually cheaper when it comes to manufacturing – to which Liberatore remarked that there is a substantive customer base that doesn’t want to risk the unforeseen problems with foreign supply chains and “doesn’t want to take the risk.”

“We stepped in when the global companies could not supply their customers,” he said.

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