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America’s Dependence on China For Essential Medical Supplies is Dangerous And Must End Now
04/22/2020 medical supplies Benjamin
keywords: medical supplies China America Coronavirus

What does a country need in the event of a raging pandemic from a foreign virus, for instance, China? It needs drugs, face masks, gowns, personal protective equipment, and medical equipment. What would happen if the country had to depend on another country for every single one of these essential medical supplies?

It is exactly the scenario that is being played out in the United States right now, thanks to our dependence on China for essential medical supplies.

America’s Dependence on China

It is well known that a large share of America’s essential medical supplies is imported from China. What many people do not know is the extent to which we are dependent on China for our medical supplies.

Here is a piece of statistic that should alarm you.

In 2018, we imported 95% of the ibuprofen we needed from China. We also imported 91% of hydrocortisone, 70% of acetaminophen, 45% of penicillin, and 45% of heparin from China.

The Department of Commerce says that nearly 80% of the antibiotic drugs consumed by Americans are manufactured in China. What is even worse is that the active ingredients of several generic drugs that we regularly consume are also produced in China.

In other words, if there is any disruption in China’s supply chain, our healthcare sector will be in big trouble.

How China’s Duplicity Affects Our Drug Makers

The problem with China is that it cannot be relied upon at all. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is determined to protect its own interests at any cost, so it does not think twice before screwing over other countries, even if those countries happen to be their trading partners.

For instance, last month, the Chinese government tried to slow down their exports of life-saving drugs and personal protective equipment to the global market, despite knowing that several countries in the world – including and especially the United States – are dependent on these supplies.

The Chinese government also increased the price of these essential supplies, as they knew that other countries are not left with any choice but to pay up, especially in the middle of a global pandemic. This is predatory behavior – plain and simple.

This is not new to China, as they have previously employed such predatory tactics to corner the global pharmaceutical drugs market. The Hastings Center reports that Chinese drug makers formed a cartel to sell generic drugs and life-saving drugs at low prices and drove American and European companies out of the market.

When American and European companies tried to sell their drugs in China, they were met with stiff trade barriers, which made it impossible for them to sell their drugs at a profit.

This is precisely why President Trump went after China with a vengeance and brought them to their knees by imposing tariffs on Chinese products. It is, however, not enough. We must incentivize American companies to produce the drugs and medical supplies we need and put an end to our dependence on China once and for all.

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