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Rebuilding With Less Dependence on China

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America’s dependence on China for imported goods is common knowledge. We have outsourced most of our manufacturing sector over the past few decades, to the detriment of American factories and the benefit of our personal purchasing power. Chinese-made goods simply cost less. This is largely due to sweatshop working conditions and lax environmental regulations, but regardless of the method, the end result is that consumers like to buy inexpensive clothes, auto parts, books, and more.

But, our addiction to cheap products has come at a high price, and the bill is about to come due.

We aren’t the only powerful country hindered by a dependence on Chinese products. In 2003, China represented just 5% of the global economy. As of 2019, China accounted for roughly 18%. This includes electronics, various components that are shipped back for product assembly in America, and – most alarmingly – medicine.

Up to 97% of all antibiotics and 80% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients needed to produce drugs for Americans originate in China. In a time of global crisis and increased Chinese-American tensions, we are poorly positioned to protect our citizens’ health. Americans are alarmed to find retailers’ shelves devoid of milk, flour, and toilet paper, but our situation would be much more dire if China pulled the plug on exporting medicines to us and the many other countries around the world who depend on them for these products.

The Covid-19 pandemic can help legislators realize they need to discourage imports from China and promote domestic manufacturing. That is, if they can pause the partisan bickering and cease criticizing their head of state long enough to agree on something. Recently, the Trump administration has been working on closing loopholes that allow the government to purchase pharmaceuticals and medical supplies from foreign countries. An executive order, which could be signed in the coming days, would hopefully increase our government’s demand for American-made drugs and medical products, encouraging domestic companies to produce more of these vital goods.

Moving jobs back to American factories and workers would likely increase costs to consumers. But long-range benefits include keeping quality control and supply chains in our own hands rather than relying on a foreign supply. Revitalizing our domestic manufacturing sector would also provide an added layer of security in future times of global crises.

There are plenty of red tape, regulations, expenses, and other obstacles standing between our current supply chain and a future filled with a more self-contained, robust American manufacturing industry. The global pandemic caused by Covid-19 has highlighted areas where we (and other countries) need to take immediate action in order to stabilize our own supply chains. Up till now, we have all enjoyed saving money while buying lower cost commodities and finished products from China. It’s time to bring our manufacturing sector back home, though, so that the next global crisis does not find us as vulnerable.

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14 Comments

  1. JC

    Not only did we cede jobs to China but all those companies moving production there also had to surrender the equipment and technology if they left and went back home to America. The trade off was savings on shipments because they traveled the high seas at bulk rates. However, the American way has always been to excel and speed of sales and delivery inbred in American salesmanship bit us in the rear. Delivering at record time soon cost us the efficiency of lead times and costs have begun to rise and before you know it the American production costs began to lean back toward America. Companies have found themselves in odd position as many had sold their careers to be in China. Along comes Trump shaming them and for once gave them the out for coming back home. It is time! China thought they could push us around, bleed us of wealth, steal our technology, attack our currency. and on and on. Those Democrats made a ton off of the China trade..just look at Clinton and Biden etc. It is time to be America first again!

    Reply
  2. Richard Hennessy

    Shame on us if we don’t wake up and reduce our dependence on China.

    Reply
    • J

      I agree it’s about time AMERICA first, put our people back to work too. I’ve went shopping and do not like what see in store, No America made thing, I’ve done with our, so not to buy China made thing, and in clothes I do not like some of their colors they come up with too., not my style thank you, so do with out. Thanks America GREAT again THANK YOU J

      Reply
  3. Billie Sumners

    I agree but also the american manufacture is to blame as well.. The manufacture in america tried to manage prices and who they would sell to and who they would not sell too. They got greedy and demanding and forced idistributors to go elsewhere..We cannot blame it all on China..

    Reply
    • David S. Kellogg

      I’m sure American manufacturers can take some blame for America’s failure to compete in the manufacture of domestically sold low-end, low-tech goods, but anyone familiar with the demise of Rubbermaid is not going to hasten to assign too much blame.

      Reply
  4. joseph hartigan

    Are the communist Chinese controlling the Democrats?

    Reply
  5. III

    When are Americans, going to realize the Democratic party is out to destroy America.

    Reply
  6. Rick

    Yes! It is about time we woke up and realized what has been done by the politicians to our great country. They have sold out the people and clearly lined their pockets at our expense. It’s not to late to rebuild our one time great manufacturing prowess. There are hundreds of thousands of American entrepreneurs that are anxious and dreaming of this great opportunity to rebuild our once great manufacturing machine. Trump is exactly right and it is music to our ears. Let’s get behind his leadership and get it done.

    Reply
  7. Craig Michael Vandertie

    Being 18% of the global economy is a lie a far more accurate percentage is 40% and unless things change very fast in another 10 to 15 years it will be at least 75%.

    They mentioned just about every product imaginable but they failed to mention that even key components for the United States military are being manufactured in China.

    It is the wealthy of this nation who need to be taxed at least 60% to 70% on their income, they will never pay United States citizens what they are worth and provide adequate Fringe benefits.

    The CPI is nothing but a means to prevent the many United States citizens who rely solely on Social Security and Disability Entitlement benefits from receiving an appropriate amount either, profit margins need to be capped, the margin between what the most wealthy and the poorest make needs limited, the wealthy are the only citizens allowed to determine their own wages.

    If you tell the wealthy they cannot employ slave labor they will merely increase the cost of living for the Common Good which those inhuman monsters are not part of.

    Reply
  8. OJBRacer

    Slap a 500% tariff retroactively to Feb.17 on all Chinese sourced goods.
    Nationalize confidcate all Chines assets in America
    First thing though is EVACUATE all Americans from China.
    The tariff which can be increased and the NATIONALIZE of Chinese assets will be used as follows:
    $1,000,000 to each family per fatality who lost a loved one to this Contagion
    $100,000 to each American hospitalized by this plague but recovered.
    $250,000 to each business MINIMUM. Closed by this Plague
    $40,000 to each American unemployed by this Plague.
    $25,000 to each American who had to shift to work from home
    $75,000 to all medical fire police paramedics nurses ER staff First Responders treating infected patients.
    $50,000 to all education personnel idled by this Plague.

    And other compensation I can’t think of now..
    If China balks at this then 100% nationalize all assets and 900% retroactive tariff. Or outright EMBARGO.

    DO THIS NOW MR. TRUMP!

    Reply
    • Dave

      Chinese imports are not China’s fault. It is our fault for wanting cheap stuff. Corporations need to make a profit to pay the stock holders who have invested into each company. In order to do that they seek the lowest cost way to produce the product. This goes on while wages increase for the top management to levels that are staggering. Mean while the product is made by some struggling to make h e product in unsafe conditions and be paid pennies in sweat shop conditions. The product finally hits our hands and we complain and bitch about the quality and price not thinking of what it took to get to us. Perhaps we need to make things here and not be so dependent on others to do our work and we might be more appreciative of what we have.

      Reply
  9. Dave Barron

    “Up to 97% of all antibiotics and 80% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients needed to produce drugs for Americans originate in China,” is completely unsatisfactory. We need to bring back 100% of our medicine production to the USA. Remember the trainted pet food, poison milk, and other internally taken things that have made us sick. Think of the poor quality of the currently Chinese made respirators that went to Europe. China has dug themselves into a hole both with poor quality and now this biolab problem. Instead of giving them 15% of the world GDP they need to be pushed back to 1 to 2% maximum even if it costs us a little more, we need the safety and security. In addition it will give Americans more jobs.

    Reply
  10. Eli

    The reason that many companies fled America, was because they found cheap labor in the foreign market. Unions placed more demands on the employers, than what they could give and survive with high overheads. Other threatening demands were by the EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency. EPA made great demands on business, along with the increased union demands for higher wages, longer vacations and insurance premiums. I agree America top executives can learn to manage a cut in pay, but the American industry worker will have to adjust to a lower standard of living and the cost of living is a challenge now. So we can spin what we should do, with what we are really able and willing to do. But necessities of life should be produced in your own Country for survival. The Chinese lab creation of this virus may only create copycats, so we need to be medically prepared and react quickly as President’s Trump’s team has done. And also, how great Americans have responded, again, in spite of the extreme liberals. Americans will have to learn priority spending and a whole new management of necessity buying. Amazon has loved this kind of business, as the rest of America is dying. This will take a new level of sacrifice, as many learn to start over.

    Reply

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