As the coronavirus is spreading throughout the world, people are forgetting about second and third order effects that will hit the economy. In fact, I was not aware of the potential damage the coronavirus could cause until I read reports about large factories shutting down in China.
When I first heard of major swaths of China shutting down because of the coronavirus, I imagined the United States could face a similar fate, especially if we did not take quick action to mitigate international travel and screen people. However as the weeks have continued to pass, and many of Chinas factories remain closed another reality became clear: the factory of the world has been shut down, which means businesses around the world that depend on Chinese manufacturing will be effected.
At this point it seems inevitable that the closing of Chinese factories, even temporarily will cause ripples throughout the world economy as cars manufacturers, toy makers, and e-commerce businesses struggle to maintain supplies to operate their businesses. We also learned about a key United States vulnerability: eighty percent of American medicines are made in China and ninety-seven percent of all United States drugs rely on China for some type of manufacturing.
With this information about how dependent the United States and the world are on China, we must do everything in our power to change this dynamic. The coronavirus has demonstrated how much control China truly has over the United States. The Chinese government could disrupt manufacturing for machine parts, car parts, medical equipment, and medicines. Now that we are facing imminent supply chain problems and can see our vulnerabilities, we must act to bring back manufacturing to the United States and restore our independence.