Corning, with assists from Pfizer and Merck, plans $500M pharma glass project that Trump announced

Donald Trump speaks at healthcare lunch
President Trump announced a new pharmaceutical glass manufacturing project that Corning will undertake after getting input from Merck and Pfizer and that could eventually lead to a $4 billion investment and 4,000 jobs.

U.S. manufacturer Corning said it is time the pharmaceutical industry has new, more durable glass for its new injected medicines, and with input and commitments from Pfizer and Merck & Co., it intends to produce it in the U.S.

Its plan to make an initial investment of $500 million and hire 1,000 employees was made by President Trump at the White House as part of his “Made in America” events this week.  

“This initiative will bring a key industry to our shores which for too long has been dominated by foreign countries,” Trump said, explaining that 98% of the industry is currently overseas.

That investment includes expanding Corning facilities in Corning, New York, and Vineland, New Jersey, and building a new manufacturing plant at a yet to be disclosed location in the Southeast. Eventually, Corning could invest up to $4 billion and hire up to 4,000 new employees, it said Thursday.

Pfizer CEO Ian Read said at the event that the drugmaker had tested Corning’s product, called Valor Glass, at several of its drug manufacturing sites. Merck Chairman Ken Frazier, said that his company plans to convert several injectable products to the new “packaging solution, pending appropriate regulatory approvals.”

Corning Chairman Wendell P. Weeks, said it was the commitments from Merck and Pfizer that led it to move forward with its initial investment in a new manufacturing facility. “All of this is made possible by our great customers like Merck and Pfizer and the strong support of the Administration, the Office of American Innovation, and the FDA’s Emerging Technology Team,” he said in a statement.

Pfizer’s Read used the announcement to call for lowering the corporate tax rate and taxes on foreign earnings. In an op-ed piece in Forbes today he said, that to see more manufacturing innovations like Corning's, “It’s going to take U.S. government support in the form of tax policies that create an environment where American companies are incented to continue capital investment in research and development that drives ongoing breakthroughs in science and technology.”