White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said they are considering an executive order to remove China from America’s medical supply chain.
“About Our Very National Defense”
The executive order would seek to remove China from the supply chain, and generally reduce the dependence that America has on other countries for medical supplies.
“China has managed to dominate all aspects of the supply chain using the same unfair trade practices that it has used to dominate other sectors – cheap sweatshop labor, lax environmental regulations and massive government subsidies,” explained Peter Navarro, the Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy. “As President Trump has said, what we need to do is bring those jobs home so that we can protect the public health and the economic and national security of the country.”
Navarro told the Washington Examiner that this strategy isn’t just about “public health and safety,” but also about “our very national defense.” He explained that the problem would be tackled by a “three-pronged Trumpian strategy… a synergistic combo of ‘Buy American,’ regulatory streamlining at the FDA and EPA, and competitive advanced manufacturing supremacy through technological innovation.”
The government would increase domestic demand and incentivise American companies to produce their products on home soil, rather than manufacture them overseas.
“For the ‘Buy American’ piece, the most critical principle is to establish a source of strong and stable long-term domestic demand that reduces risk and thereby attracts investment to American soil,” Navarro said. “The only way to do that is to make sure that every dollar of government procurement for our essential medicines and medical countermeasures is a dollar spent on ‘Buy American.'”
“We Must Combat America’s Dependence on China”
The executive order against China by the White House was brought back into the foray by the coronavirus crisis, despite being in the works for a while.
“The coronavirus shows the importance of bringing all of that manufacturing back to America, and we will have that started,” President Trump said last week during a meeting with the heads of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies at the White House. “It’s already started, frankly. It started about a year ago.”
Senator Marco Rubio praised the coming executive order, saying the coronavirus outbreak was “a wake-up call”:
We must combat America’s supply chain vulnerabilities and dependence on China in critical sectors of our economy. The Trump administration’s forthcoming executive order is a very strong first step toward increasing domestic production by enforcing “Buy American” requirements for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, as well as fast-tracking FDA approval of critical products impacted by the coronavirus outbreak’s strain on the supply chain.
There was no set time scale on the implementation of the order, but Navarro said the White House is “trying to move quickly in Trump time, which in this case should be in a matter of weeks.”
The sooner the better I say! There is no time to waste on reducing American dependence on China, especially now with the coronavirus outbreak – we must move quickly and break the dependence that our economy has on this antagonistic foreign state.