The Trump administration is seeking out various American manufacturers to help make essential supplies needed to fight the coronavirus without relying on foreign imports and supply chains from China.
Spokespeople for General Motors (GM) and Ford have said they are open to working with the Trump administration to retool their American factories to produce supplies like ventilators and other medical necessities.
“We are already studying how we can potentially support production of medical equipment like ventilators,” a GM spokesperson told the media.
Tesla’s Elon Musk said he too is open to supplying the Trump administration with supplies if necessary.
We will make ventilators if there is a shortage
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 19, 2020
On Fox News, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said he is in talks with multiple companies who manufacture and produce their products in the U.S. He said:
I got a call from a company Pernod Ricard … it makes alcoholic beverages. They had volunteered to make hand sanitizer using their alcohol. They had some obstacles, so I made three phone calls, one to the Treasury [Department], one to the [Federal Drug Administration], one to [Health and Human Services] to clear their obstacles out of the way in Trump time … and today we got a commitment that they’re going to start producing on Friday, and over time, we’re going to have 4,000 gallons a week [of hand sanitizer] and they’re going to be able to send it to the government at no cost.
“And by the way, these facilities are going to be in America, they’re in West Virginia, Arkansas, Texas, and Kentucky,” Navarro said.
Navarro also said Honeywell, a multinational corporation stationed in Charlotte, North Carolina, was in touch with the White House on plans to open a plant in Smithfield, Rhode Island, to manufacture and produce face masks for Americans.
“Already we have Honeywell moving towards that,” Navarro said of the deal. “So what it looks like is, having the appropriate incentives for our domestic industry to produce these things like face masks and hand sanitizer and all the things we need.”
He went on to say:
What we need longterm … the government does not buy American enough. The government, the VA, HHS, DOD [are] tremendously large consumers of medicines, medical supplies, and medical equipment. And so I’m working with the president as we speak to get an executive order to the finish line that would provide long term incentives for our companies to produce here.
Breitbart News columnist Jim Pinkerton on Thursday likened Trump’s “Whole of America” approach to fighting the coronavirus to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s war-time nationalist policies that helped win the Allied Nations the Second World War:
So we’re getting the picture; as this author has noted in the past here at Breitbart News, U.S. mobilization during World War Two was a wonder to behold. The wondrously huge surge in production—as FDR said, “working on a seven-day week basis . . . building more new plants”—gave us a relatively quick victory on the battlefront. [Emphasis added]
Also, interestingly, this wartime surge gave us generously overtimed prosperity on the homefront. In fact, a great many Breitbart News readers look back with pride as they recall what their grandfathers, grandmothers, and others accomplished, working line jobs at defense plants such as Michigan’s legendary Willow Run. Indeed, these many decades later, the testimony of Breitbart News readers is inspiring. [Emphasis added]
In fact, just on March 18, the Detroit News reported that General Motors and Ford are exploring ways that they can shift their auto-manufacturing capacity toward the manufacturing of breathing ventilators for severely afflicted corona patients. [Emphasis added]
We can pause to note that this is exactly the sort of home-grown can-do that we need at a time such as this. That is, we need good patriotic spirit from the business community, and we need the machinery, and the machinists, to be close at hand, within our borders, so that those industrial and human assets can be immediately repurposed for the saving of lives. [Emphasis added]
The results of U.S. free trade with China have meant that the U.S. currently depends on China to produce an estimated 97 percent of all antibiotics and 80 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients that are needed to manufacture drugs in the U.S.
Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was enacted and China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO), nearly five million American manufacturing jobs have been eliminated from the American economy — 3.4 million of which are due to U.S. free trade with China. The mass elimination of working- and middle-class jobs and depressed U.S. wages due to NAFTA and China’s entering the WTO have coincided with a 600 percent increase in trade deficits.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.