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Peter Navarro: Epidemic Shows Need to Restore American Manufacturing Capabilities

The crisis has revealed the shortcomings of an outsourced supply chain.

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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:

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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.

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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.

Big League Economics

Google, Facebook, Microsoft Lobbying Trump to Keep H1B Cheap Labor Visa Program

The Masters of the Universe want to import visa workers.

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300 of America’s most powerful corporations have signed onto a lobbying effort to pressure the Trump administration not to cut the H1B cheap labor visa program. Silicon Valley megacorporations Facebook and Google have signed onto a letter urging for visas to be maintained, and Microsoft has as well.

The companies claim that their hiring needs reflect the ‘national interest’ and that they need to import hundreds of thousands of foreign college graduates to work for them.

The undersigned represent employers that rely on a highly skilled, college-educated, science and engineering workforce, including non-immigrant professionals, to innovate, produce, research, develop, and lead.

The abuse of the H1B visa system to replace American workers with cheaper and more compliant foreign visa workers is both extensive and well documented within the technology industry. The visa structure keeps its recipients dependent on their employer for legal status within the country, creating a form of de facto indentured servitude in which employers have near-complete control over the workers they sponsor for the visas.

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The visa system also enables major employers to depress wages within the American workforce, allowing companies to import workers from countries with vastly lower labor and living standards. President Donald Trump’s administration is considering suspending the program on an indefinite basis in the midst of the coronavirus recession to place American workers first again, lining up the nation’s professionals to reap the gains of economic recovery. Leading immigration patriot senators are pushing for the President to place the program on ice.

The notion of doubling down on the hiring of new American workers- even as millions of Americans are driven into unemployment through the coronavirus recession- appears simply inconsiderable for the country’s wealthiest and most affluent technology companies. Instead, they appear to prefer a nonstop flow of cheap labor to drive up their comfortable profit margins even further.

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