“Frankly and definitely there is danger ahead—danger against which we must prepare. But we well know that we cannot escape danger, or the fear of it, by crawling into bed and pulling the covers over our heads.”
—President Roosevelt in his radio address from Washington, D.C., December 29, 1940
Before World War II, President Roosevelt expressed concern about the concentration of strategic industries that were vital to our national defense, such as steel, being held in the hands of only a few men and in one place—Pittsburgh.
Today, the outbreak of coronavirus, or COVID-19, clearly illustrates the wisdom of not putting all of our eggs in one basket—or in one country.
Relying on sole-sourced suppliers almost exclusively from China was a dangerous risk, one that the captains of American industry from elite business schools decided decades ago was a gamble they were willing to bet on.
Not only did they gamble with the sovereignty of our nation, every single dollar that was spent in China was a dollar not invested in American industry and American labor.
As the vitriol in the media over President Trump declaring himself a wartime president heats up, we would do well to remember that it is these very same elites and politicians who sold us the superstructure of just-in-time delivery system of supply chain goods and signed away the futures of Americans via NAFTA and GATT.
These are the same elites who tried to impeach a president who did, in fact, understand that we are at war with China, not Russia. And it is these same elites who are wrong again. President Trump is a wartime president—against the deep state, the globalists and our real enemy—China.
And while the media laments that the entire nation isn’t yet under martial law and the Democratic governors haven’t taken away all the guns yet, President Trump has told us much the same as Roosevelt did so many decades ago. “We our not a nation that crawls into bed and pulls the cover over our heads.”
“Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” Trump said. “This is not a country that was built for this.”
The outbreak of the COVID-19 in Wuhan, China has only served to expose the soft underbelly of the global just-in-time delivery systems we were sold as the panacea to manufacturing.
As a result, there are no warehouses of raw materials, subparts or even completed goods outside of China and almost all of our supply chains are largely dependent upon a communist regime that doesn’t share our most basic values.
So how the hell did we get here?
According to Curtis Ellis, Policy Director at America First Policies, “The financialization of the economy gave Wall Street primacy over the productive economy. Financiers drove the consolidation of various industries into fewer and fewer hands, harvesting billions of dollars first through the sell-off of productive assets in a mania of mergers, private equity, and leveraged buyouts, and then through global labor arbitrage as they drove (what was left of) America’s industries offshore.
“Wall Street bet on substituting well-paid American labor with Communist China’s regimented cheap labor and replacing sales to a (once) prosperous American middle class with sales to China’s managerial class.”
And sentiment is building among some Republicans that we must do more to move manufacturing out of China and back to the United States or other Western countries.
“We’re staring into a significant, significant crisis of supply chain,” Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner told the Washington Examiner. “Cheap labor or cheap manufacturing be damned if you are reliant on them for your life and livelihood.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) have introduced the Securing America’s Medicine Cabinet (SAM-C) Act to increase American manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), the building blocks of prescription drugs.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) introduced the Protecting our Pharmaceutical Supply Chain from China Act, which would end U.S. dependence on China for pharmaceutical manufacturing.
It is crucial that American industry retreat from China, particularly the pharmaceutical industry, and put Americans first. However, be forewarned that the next skirmish with the Chinese will be just as deadly to our economy.
The Chinese government is already bulking at fulfilling their contractual agreements with some French natural gas suppliers, invoking what is called forced majeure, a contractual clause that essentially covers unforseen acts of God, as a result of the coronavirus.
China has already evoked forced majeure with some liquified natural gas suppliers as a result of coronavirus, claiming they no longer have the people to unload the tankers in their ports to take delivery.
French oil major Total, however, rejected the force majeure notice it received from an unnamed liquefied natural gas buyer in China, the first global energy supplier to publicly push back against firms backing out of deals amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The timing of the first phase of the United States-China trade deal, which was signed on January 15 and contains similar forced majeure language may protect U.S. manufacturers and suppliers should China seek to invoke it by not fulfilling any of its major obligations under the agreement, namely its obligation to purchase U.S. manufacturing, energy and agricultural goods and services of at least $200 billion over two years.
China already knew of the outbreak in Wuhan before signing the trade agreement with the United States and had, in fact, formerly reported it to the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31.
The Chinese government was aware that the first patient was infected about December 1 and they knew about the infection in Wuhan by the middle of December before its report to WHO on December 31. When Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed the U.S. trade deal on January 15, Chinese officials were well aware of the outbreak in Wuhan, so any argument they may raise that it was an unforseen circumstance is weak.
Further, prior to inking the agreement, China had already arrested doctors who had reported the outbreak and had enacted their enforcement apparatus to stop the spread of the knowledge of the virus if not the virus itself.
As Democrats are want to exploit a crisis for gain, and most certainly China will do the same, it’s time for the right to borrow from their playbook and use the coronavirus to bring home essential manufacturing.
This is our moment to truly make America great again. We must demand that these captains of industry, the financiers and our government return to more prudent self-sustaining manufacturing methods. And on that note, I leave you with other apropo words spoken by President Roosevelt from his radio address in 1940:
“No pessimistic policy about the future of America shall delay the immediate expansion of those industries essential to defense. I want to make it clear that it is the purpose of the nation to build now with all possible speed every machine and arsenal and factory that we need to manufacture our defense material. We have the men the skill, the wealth, and above all, the will.”
Let’s Make America Great Again!