Baltimore, MD — United Safety Technology (UST) plans to bring back to life an abandoned Bethlehem Steel Factory in Sparrows Point, just outside of Baltimore, Maryland to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE). Today, that effort received yet another vote of confidence from the US Government.
UST has announced that it has been granted approval for its production activity by the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board of the US Department of Commerce. With the designation and grant of authority, UST can begin to manufacture products using important components with tariffs and duties reduced or eliminated, thus reducing its costs and helping ensure high-quality domestically manufactured PPE can be competitively priced.
“We are on track to open our best-in-class facilities this Fall featuring state-of-the-art manufacturing and efficiency. We are generating more than $350 million in investment and creating more than 2,000 jobs, including positions for a diverse and disabled workforce,” said Dan Izhaky, President of UST. “Today’s announcement means that we can import the supplies we need cost-efficiently and ship our products in a competitive manner. This will help make UST and the domestic PPE industry more competitive on the world stage.”
The long-term vision of UST is to source all raw materials and components domestically. In the interim, this approval grants UST the ability to source twenty-two ingredients of its raw materials duty-free globally. This is crucial as UST and the PPE industry await robust domestic availability of these materials. The designation also allows UST to export its final products without duties. UST is one of only a few American-made PPE manufacturers to receive this designation.
The FTZ approval will apply to UST’s three leading glove products. These are its Seamless Gloves, its Surgical Gloves, and its Examination Gloves. In a time of competitive headwinds and supply chain disruptions from PPE manufacturing in the Far East, this will be a boon for American-made PPE.
In 2021, the Department of Defense (DoD), in conjunction with HHS awarded UST a $96.1M contract to initiate the domestic production of medical-grade nitrile exam gloves. Making gloves and PPE in the USA is critical and is quickly becoming a national preference and supply chain necessity. UST’s facility will sit within Federal Trade Zone Subzone 74D.
“Smart and progressive health care systems and adjacent industries recognize that hybrid sourcing models with domestically made PPE are a crucial choice. This can mitigate risk and create supply chain resilience. With this designation, we are moving American-made PPE one step closer to being a go-to solution for these industries,” added Izhaky.
The Foreign-Trade Zone benefits extend beyond UST to Baltimore and the entire MidAtlantic region. This designation will help to facilitate and expedite international trade. This will help UST compete to supply its domestic enterprise customers, to conduct international trade, and distribute its American-made PPE in nearly every business and government sector. This will also help bring local jobs to the community – especially among a diverse and disabled workforce.
“American-made PPE is a key element to a diverse and resilient supply chain,” added Izhaky. “The FTZ designation means we can reduce our production costs and pass those savings along to the medical, government, schools, and business sectors – where cost can often be an important driver in decision-making. We can’t wait to bring these products to market”
About United Safety Technology (UST)
UST enables buyers to reduce reliance on foreign suppliers. Committed to socially responsible manufacturing and reducing impact, we’re returning critical PPE capabilities to the U.S. UST plans to open a 735,000-square-foot facility in Sparrows Point, MD. Formerly a Bethlehem Steel plant, the UST facility will serve as both a progressive medical manufacturing complex and a model for community renewal. At full scale, UST plans to manufacture more than 9 billion gloves per year, while creating up to 2000 new jobs. UST plans to commence production in 2023.