Since before President Reagan made it popular, I’ve been a free trade proponent. I was not a fan of tariffs, and to some extent I still believe they should only be used as a last resort. But I’ve come to realize over the last year that there are valid reasons to promote an America-First “fair trade” policy, and that was before the coronavirus exposed the risks of “diverse” sourcing.
The reality is this: Too much power is given to China by the United States and other countries to control our product and resource distribution models. One needs only look to Apple, who has cut their output expectations by over 15%, to realize when you put all of your resource and production eggs in one basket, no matter how large, you run the risk of exposure if that basket gets tainted. Right now, China is tainted.
The world economic markets are going to shake and shimmy for as long as the coronavirus remains a huge problem in China. If it gets worse, many markets may collapse. But as it spreads to other countries, the economic toll is only going to worsen. The toll on human life is rightly getting most of the attention, but we should not ignore how this will affect billions of people who rely too heavily on China for products imported from there, including the vast majority of ingredients used by the healthcare industries to produce drugs, equipment, and even seemingly mundane products like surgical masks.
Today, masks are no longer mundane and nearly all of them are produced in China.
The United States must continue to return to self-reliance. That’s not to say we need to shut out the rest of the world, but we must not allow ourselves to be beholden to any other nation, even China. Especially China.
This enlightening and oftentimes terrifying interview by Jan Jekielek with American Thought Leaders for The Epoch Times of Curtis Ellis from America First Policies is a must-watch. There are lessons DC and American businesses must learn from the coronavirus.