On ‘Supply-Chain Repatriation,’ It’s Buyer (and Nation) Beware

Pharmacist Thomas Jensen looks over a prescription drug at the Rock Canyon pharmacy in Provo, Utah, May 9, 2019. (George Frey/Reuters)
The COVID-19 pandemic is a real crisis. Protectionism is not the solution.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE O ne 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.

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