We are Too Reliant on China
Joel D. Joseph is an economist and former chairman of the Made in the USA Foundation
The corona virus has demonstrated clearly that the United States is far too reliant on products and components from China and other countries. From medical supplies to Apple computers and cell phones, the coronavirus epidemic is throwing the economy into a deep recession.
Apple, which is highly dependent on Chinese factories, said in a statement that its supply of smart phones was hampered because production was ramping up more slowly than expected as China reopened its factories\. Apple also said that demand for its devices in China had been hurt by the outbreak. The iphone maker closed all 42 of its stores in China in January and most have yet to reopen.
In Youngstown, Ohio, Phantom Fireworks worries that a prolonged hiatus at its Chinese supplier may prevent it from importing sufficient inventory for the Independence Day celebration. General Electric, which relies on its Chinese factories for parts to produce CT scanners, ultrasound and X-ray machines, oil field pumps, valves and motors, and aircraft engine components has been compromised by its inability to get component parts.
Drugs and Pharmaceutical Components
Our health system is "precariously dependent on China" for supplies, warns former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. That includes drugs to treat lung and breast cancer, the active ingredient for Tamiflu to treat influenza, implantable defibrillators for heart patients, and the masks, gloves and gowns health workers need. In addition, eighty percent of prescription drugs sold in the United States come from China and India. This dependency on imports dramatically compromises our ability to respond to pandemics, and other medical catastrophes.
Prinston Pharmaceuticals of Cranbury, N.J., depends on Chinese ingredients to make medications to treat high blood pressure, Alzheimer's and depression. Novus Pharmaceuticals said its Chinese plant was the only source approved by the Food and Drug Administration for Coartem tablets, a treatment for malaria.