PRI “Buy America” Brief Mentioned in National Review
On ‘Supply-Chain Repatriation,’ It’s Buyer (and Nation) Beware
By Scott Lincicome
One of the most fashionable COVID-19 proposals being circulated by Washington politicians and pundits these days is the “repatriating” of global supply chains for pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and “personal protective equipment” that have been “outsourced” over the past three decades, leaving America utterly dependent on foreign countries, especially China, for these essential products. Bringing that manufacturing back home, so the story goes, is the only way to ensure future “resiliency” in the face of the next global pandemic. Otherwise, we’ll once again be left empty-handed and helpless — and, even worse, at the mercy of China and other untrustworthy foreigners. . .
A new report from the Pacific Research Institute provides more good news: China accounted for just 1 percent ($1.5 billion) and 18 percent ($1.2 billion) of finished pharmaceutical imports and APIs, respectively, into the United States in 2019, and “combined, the United States had a $1.6 billion trade surplus with China for these pharmaceutical products and ingredients.” Within the United States, moreover, there are about 1,300 plants making drugs (often using imported inputs) employing about 120,000 American workers. . .