(USA Features) A White House official confirmed Wednesday that President Donald Trump is preparing an executive order that will lessen U.S. reliance on China for healthcare supplies, a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak.
The U.S. and other countries get the vast majority of medical supplies and equipment from Chinese suppliers. But when the virus outbreak began there, multiple Chinese cities were quarantined, which led to widespread factory stoppages.
As a result, the global medical and healthcare supply chains were disrupted even as other countries began dealing with their own outbreaks.
White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro said the “Buy American” order would seek to reduce the United States’ over-reliance on Chinese healthcare equipment.
The order is also the result of concerns expressed by senators during their Tuesday meeting with the president.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that during the meeting on easing coronavirus-related financial pressures on Americans, he asked Trump to support the Senate’s “efforts to invest in diversifying our supply chain, especially in pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.”
The order will prevent federal agencies from purchasing medical supplies, including face masks, gloves and ventilators, from China.
China has prevented the export of surgical face masks, severely limiting supplies in the U.S. and countries around the world, the Daily Caller reported.
“China has managed to dominate all aspects of the supply chain using the same unfair trade practices that it has used to dominate other sectors — cheap sweatshop labor, lax environmental regulations and massive government subsidies,” Navarro told New York Times.
“As President Trump has said, what we need to do is bring those jobs home so that we can protect the public health and the economic and national security of the country.”