Peter Navarro: Epidemic Shows Need to Restore American Manufacturing Capabilities

White House economic policy advisor Peter Navarro spoke of the need to restore the national capabilities of American manufacturing, citing the lacking national infrastructure the United States has been stuck with as the federal government scrambles to secure as many ventilators, medical supplies and respirators as possible.

Navarro described the national Chinese coronavirus epidemic as a wake-up call to the shortcomings of an outsourced and globalized supply chain. He recounted the near impossibility of securing the medical equipment necessary

Watch the segment of Navarro’s takeaway during Thursday’s Presidential briefing on efforts to contain and defeat the epidemic:

Navarro acknowledged that reversing the catastrophic outsourcing of American industrial capabilities for profit would have to wait until the coronavirus crisis is contained, but stated after the crisis the lack of ability to produce would have to be dealt with.

No matter how many treaties you have, how many alliances… When push comes to shove, you run the risk as a nation of not having what you need.” Navarro, currently tasked with overseeing the Defense Production Act fulfillment process, noted that several major countries have already enacted export restrictions to outfit their own stockpiles.

The United States has proved unable to marshal the necessary amount of supplies crucial to treating patients infected with the virus. Manufacturers of ventilators and other necessary equipment were outsourced to cheap-labor facilities in Asia and China decades ago, and now the United States is finding that it’s impossible to import what’s needed as demand for the life-saving equipment surges.

American companies scrambling in an attempt to meet the massive demand are still relying on cheap foreign contractors in China. American manufacturers with the capability to begin working on the production of the machines today have reported that the major companies tasked with delivering them-such as General Motors- consider American producers merely an option of last resort.

If we learn anything from this crisis, it should be never again. Never again should we have to depend on the rest of the world for our essential medicines and counter-measures.