China’s got the upper hand in making medicines — and face masks — amid the coronavirus epidemic, affecting supplies to the United States, Peter Navarro, director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, said Sunday.
In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” the adviser to the president said the United States has had “far too much of our supply chain, not just for coronavirus but essential medicines we need” in China.
“Same reasons... cheap labor environment, most of all trade practices,” he said. “A lot of it is in China, some of it is in India, some in Europe but we've got to get that back on shore.”
The “immediate issue,” he stressed about the COVID-19 outbreak is the manufacturing of face masks.
“China and export restrictions and nationalizing that and producing them there — we are dealing with that in time,” he said. “This week we will be sending out a [Request For Proposal] to make sure we have plenty of those."
According to Navarro, in a crisis like COVID-19, "we have no allies."
"One last point on the supply chain issue... in crises like this, we have no allies,” he said. “Back in 2009 during the swine flu problem, our best friends in Australia, Great Britain and Canada denied us what we needed, which was 35 million doses of vaccines.”
“With respect to economic impacts,” he added, “the American economy is exceedingly strong and not particular vulnerable to what happens in China. We are going to go about our business and to try to get what we need."
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