Time has come to repatriate business
While historians differ on the exact date when globalism became a popular way of doing business, the advancements in technology, the internet particularly, and modes of shipping acted as a springboard to interact with nations across the globe.
However, American leaders in business and government must rethink this approach, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has crippled international economies and placed millions of individuals in the unpleasant position of not being able to provide for their families. Nationalism is not a pleasant term among “progressives” — because they see it as racist — globalism must be seriously reconsidered.
China has been a notoriously bad actor, particularly in the area of trade. The United States has been the beneficiary of some of China’s most toxic products since 1996, beginning with infestation of Asian long-horned beetles. These nasty little insects, which arrived on Chinese cargo ships, devoured about 200,000 trees in several New England towns. In 2007, toothpaste manufactured in China was found to have contained a poison used in antifreeze. Again, in 2007, an untold number of dogs were killed by melamine-laced dog food. In addition, the United States was faced with coping with H1N1 and bird flu SARS and now the Wuhan virus.
With all of these disasters, Americans were called upon to clean up the mess with their tax dollars, with the Peoples Republic of China assuring us it would do better. In consideration of all this, are any products manufactured in the PRC, and purchased from any store, worth the agony of present times? We may pay more for products made in the U.S., but at least these products are quality inspected prior to being placed into the stream of commerce.
The COVID-19 pandemic has, and will for some time, upset the lives of millions. It has also clearly illustrated the impetus for nation states to create new pathways in trading. China is a bad actor, always has been, and there is nothing at the present time to indicate it will change its behavior.
Therefore, when this crisis ends, which it will, the president should continue his administration’s policy of repatriating American businesses and industries. Nationalism perhaps, but the geopolitical reality at present is simple: Bad actors, such as the PRC, should not be enriched at this country’s expense. It’s incumbent upon a nation’s leaders to protect their citizens.
Hopefully, there will be a new world order, in terms of trade, at the end of this crisis. How the United States uses its position in this new paradigm, will shape trading and the economic stability of countries around the world for decades, ultimately leading to continued economic growth and prosperity worldwide.
William E. Straesser