The lack of independent control over critical healthcare products is highlighting exactly why Donald J Trump has been demanding U.S. manufacturing firms return production to this nation for years. White House trade advisor Peter Navarro drove home the point yesterday:
[Transcript] – Q: Mr. Navarro, what’s the status of the “Buy American” executive order?
MR. NAVARRO: “One of the — one of the things that this crisis has taught us, sir, is that we are dangerously over-dependent on a global supply chain for our medicines, like penicillin; our medical supplies, like masks; and our medical equipment, like ventilators.
We have — right now as we speak, over 50 countries have already imposed some forms of export restrictions in their country against the rest of the world. And what we’ve — what we’re learning from that is that no matter how many treaties you have, no matter how many alliances, no matter how many phone calls, when push comes to shove you run the risk, as a nation, of not having what you need.”
“And if there’s any vindication of the President’s “Buy American, secure borders, and a strong manufacturing base” philosophy, strategy, and belief, it is this crisis — because it underscores everything that we see there.
So the “Buy American” order, which — which is going through process, would do a couple things. It would simply say, — not during this crisis, because we don’t want to disrupt anything. I want to be really clear about that. But going forward, after this is over, the VA, DOD, HHS, and this government buys American for essential medicines, our medical countermeasures, and the medical supplies and equipment we need.
At the same time, it will deregulate so we can get the FDA and EPA to facilitate domestic manufacturing. And then, innovate. Because the key here — the key here is having advanced manufacturing on U.S. soil that can leapfrog other countries so we don’t have to worry about competing against cheap sweatshop labor, lax environmental regulations, different tax regimes, and the massive subsidies of foreign governments who are actually directly attacking our industrial base.
So be patient with that, sir. It’s — the other priorities we have right now are to DPA and what the task force is doing. But if we learn anything from this crisis, it should be never again. Never again should we have to depend on the rest of the world for our essential medicines and countermeasures.” (read more)
From the outset of Donald Trump’s entry into the world of politics he espoused a series of key tenets around what he called his “America-First” objectives:
- The U.S. needed to have control over our borders, and a greater ability to control who was migrating to the United States. A shift toward stopping ‘illegal’ migration.
- The U.S. needed to stop the manufacture of goods overseas and return critical manufacturing back to the United States. A return to economic independence.
- The U.S. needed to decouple from an over-reliance on Chinese industrial and consumer products. China viewed as a geopolitical and economic risk.
Donald Trump was alone on these issues. No-one else was raising them; no-one else was so urgently pushing that discussion. In 2015, 2016 and even 2017, no-one other than Trump was talking about how close we were to the dependence point of no return.
Given the status of very consequential issues stemming from the Chinese Coronavirus threat; and the myriad of serious issues with critical supply chain dependencies; wasn’t President Trump correct in his warnings and proposals?
In early 2017 President Trump and his administration coined the phrase: “economic security is national security”, and the economic team set about starting a very complex process to ensure the past three decades of trade policy was reversed.
One month after taking office, February 2017, President Trump met with labor unions and assembled a corporate manufacturing council, telling all of them they needed to change their thinking about manufacturing overseas.
The members of the council didn’t like the conversation; many of them were Wall Street multinationals who were themselves part of the historic shift in moving jobs to Asia and beyond. Several months later the council disbanded amid the policy contention; but Trump persisted with the America First agenda.
President Trump, never wavered; he warned the corporate CEO’s they needed to adjust their thinking and bring back their manufacturing jobs. Trump warned them to reorient their supply chains because they had become too dependent on China; and that dependency was manifesting as geopolitical risk if the U.S. and China were in conflict.
Time after time, conversation after conversation, in the background of events where few media were paying attention, President Trump spoke privately and publicly about the issue of over-reliance on Chinese products and critical goods from southeast Asia.
Then, after months of warnings, came the tariff hammer.
Those same manufacturing council executives and their Wall Street pundits screamed into every microphone they could find that President Trump was going to collapse the economy; that consumer prices would skyrocket; that Steel and Aluminum tariffs would mean everything from beer to soup would no longer be affordable.
Team Trump, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and USTR Robert Lighthizer didn’t waiver. President Trump accepted the criticism of “Tariff-Man”; he owned the downside and then expanded the tariffs even higher upon more goods. The CEO’s shrieked louder, but eventually, reluctantly, some started moving supply chains out of China.
While Team Trump renegotiated trade with South Korea and Japan; and while Trump renegotiated NAFTA with Mexico and Canada; the president kept the pressure on those U.S. corporations and multinationals to return critical manufacturing to the United States.
Now, with the global pandemic known as Coronavirus, people are starting to awaken to the real dangers of our medicines, pharmaceuticals and critical health care products being made overseas. Right now we see the clear reasons why President Trump was so adamant about a conversation no-one wanted, Wall Street hated, and few were paying attention to.
Heck, it is only now that most Americans realize just how many critical products are at risk…. and instead of thanking President Trump for the foresight, the incredible prescience he exhibited, the professional political class are criticizing him for over details around an issue they allowed to happen.
In many cases those who are now criticizing the weakness of our supply-chain are the same people who participated in creating a manufacturing system based on dependency, for decades. The criticism is not only unreal to witness, it’s maddening in the scale of its hypocrisy.
It sure is blood-boiling to watch the media now. To see the media cheer-leading for a national health crisis -literally with smiling faces as they hope for an economic collapse- for the exact same gleeful reason they cheered the impeachment effort. The level of U.S. media vitriol against President Trump is sickening.
The American mainstream media truly is the enemy of a prosperous and thriving America.
These times will never be forgotten.
God bless President Trump….
….And Thank You Prescient Trump.
We will never forget.