Such efforts helped put China firmly at the front of the industry, as Rakesh Tammabattula discovered. An entrepreneur in the Los Angeles suburbs, he shifted his business making nutrition supplements and moisturizer to the production of medical masks and hand sanitizer in response to the epidemic. To do that, he needed a machine that could compress and cut fabric to make masks.
He discovered that the machines were made only in China. He had to charter a jet to fly the huge device — 36 feet long, six feet high and five feet wide — from southern China to Los Angeles...
...In Los Angeles, Mr. Tammabattula has found that even producing hand sanitizer is hard. He has been unable to find any company in the United States that still makes plastic bottles with pump handles. He imports them, on expensive chartered aircraft, from China.
Mr. Tammabattula has applied for a federal loan for small businesses trying to produce medical supplies, but the paperwork has proved extensive, daunting and slow, he said.
“If we were to compare to the Chinese government,” Mr. Tammabattula said, “there’s just no support for domestic manufacturing.”It's hard for me to imagine that there are no US or North American manufacturers of plastic bottle pump parts, but I'm guessing that they are solidly booked by Proctor & Gamble or whomever.