America’s supply chain and its dependence other countries for medicine and other essentials was part of the problem the U.S. faces during the coronavirus pandemic, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Saturday night.
“Our supply chains for medicines, medical supplies and medical equipment, it’s spread out all over the world,” Navarro told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro on “Justice with Judge Jeanine.”
“And that works fine when there’s no problem and you don’t need [the imported items],” he added. “But check this out: We buy about $120 billion of medicines every year from the rest of the world. About 95 percent of them come in from about 20 countries.
“Guess what, Judge?” he said. “Ten of those countries have already imposed some forms of export restrictions on things that we actually need.”
Pirro asked Navarro to list which items the U.S. needed most.
“Personal protective equipment,” he responded. “That’s the front line for health care workers in order to take take this virus on,” Navarro said.
“And know what we have, Jeanine, is the full force, the federal government, the full power of private enterprise and the full cooperation of the American people as they practice their social distancing and do what needs to be done to fight the virus in their way.”
Navarro told Pirro the situation has “cost us lives” before saying he hoped the country would learn from what has transpired after the coronavius outbreak is over.
“It’s a situation where we found ourselves in many of our sectors in the economy, where we’ve off-shored our jobs, machine tools, electronics, steel, whatever it is. That costs us jobs. In this case, it costs us lives,” Navarro said. “And so one of the lessons I hope we learn after this is over is to bring those jobs home here to America so that we can make the medicines, make the face masks and have what we need here.”