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What does America’s crackdown on Chinese firms mean for the U.S. biotech sector?

WASHINGTON — The federal government increasingly is scrutinizing Chinese businesses and their interactions with American companies, including in the biotech sector. Chinese biotechnology companies, the thinking goes, could threaten national security by giving the Chinese government access to the genetic and health information of Americans.

Just Wednesday, President Biden issued an executive order aimed at keeping sensitive data, including Americans’ genetic information, out of the hands of adversaries.

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But American biotech companies worry they could become collateral damage if the government sloppily targets sanctions. They’re pushing back against legislation that would bar biotech companies from working with some Chinese companies, especially as the government takes aim at WuXi, a Chinese company considered a crucial partner for discovering, testing, and making medicines that has worked with such brands as Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and GSK.

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