John James: Coronavirus and China – US must make these critical items here at home

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Americans are dying from COVID-19 and hospitals are struggling to provide health care because they lack necessary equipment like masks and ventilators. At the same time, U.S. companies in China have warehouses overflowing with the necessary equipment, but Chinese restrictions disrupt the supply chain and prevent that essential equipment from coming back to the U.S.

This is not the last crisis America will face. We cannot allow any nation to disrupt our supply chain on critical goods. We need to ensure we have the manufacturing capabilities to deal with the next crisis. We need to repatriate the American dream.

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the danger of America’s supply chain being reliant upon other nations, notably communist China, for the critical goods and services we need. Masks and ventilators are just one example. Pharmaceuticals are another.

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We cannot allow other nations to impede our ability to identify vaccines and cures, as well as have access to necessary medical treatments. As ours is the most prosperous, innovative economy in human history, it is both possible and advisable that our nation becomes more economically self-sufficient to prevent these obstacles from dealing with COVID-19 and disasters in the future.

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No longer can we dangerously permit communist China’s – or any country’s – predatory trade practices, currency manipulation, dumping, intellectual property theft, espionage, cyber and information warfare and worse to continue their assault on our national prosperity and, yes, security.

This is not a call for protectionism or isolation. It is a call for independence and patriotism.

We must repatriate the American dream from overseas and restore hope around the hearth of home for our working families. At least, American companies should be able to supply essential goods to Americans without fear of foreign governments disrupting our supply chain. That disruption can’t happen if Americans are manufacturing in America.

What can we do?

We must repatriate the American dream from overseas and restore hope around the hearth of home for our working families.

First, buy American. The American consumer is the most powerful in the world. Entire markets bend because of them. Consumer purchasing preferences have made stores stop selling blood diamonds.  People have used their pocketbook to ensure there are gluten-, nut- and trans-fat free products sold in mainstream stores.

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American consumers have become more mindful about the impacts of their collective purchasing power and are willing to accept a nominal cost to do the right thing. Encouraging people to buy American will continue to be a powerful incentive. 

Next, like President Trump’s recent landmark tax reform package, Congress must pass legislation to keep “in-sourcing” jobs back to our shores. Continuing tax, tort and regulatory reforms are vital to incentivizing the repatriation and retention of America’s “production independence” in manufacturing, energy, agricultural, pharmaceutical and every sector of our economy.

In the area of medicine, particularly, it is insane to rely upon communist China or any other bad international actors for pharmaceuticals. As the COVID-19 pandemic grimly demonstrates, Americans’ pharmaceutical self-sufficiency is necessary not only for our economic but for our physical health, as well.

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In the wake of this pandemic, our nation was compelled to take unprecedented public health measures to protect people’s lives. Tragically, this has led to record levels of unemployment. These workers won’t be getting jobs in communist China. They need American jobs – now.

American citizens deserve to have access to American personal protection equipment and American medicine. What we need is for our nation to repatriate the American dream. Working together, I know we will!

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