America finds itself in a predicament during the Post Pandemic Renovation. That predicament is that actions exposed about China, in particular the province of Wuhan, make it very clear that China both covered up and accelerated the spread of the coronavirus, either through their regime’s own incompetence or intentionally as a way to usurp foreign influence. China’s behavior in the early days of the coronavirus demonstrated the worst of opportunism as they shipped protective equipment and supplies across the globe whilst simultaneously conducting extensive public relations appearances within clear reach of American interests.
Both major parties will likely agree that collaborative commerce with China is dead. It is dead in the water. It is a dead dream. And recent actions adding to this divorce is the influence that China exerts over international agencies like the World Health Organization. The World Health Organization, we know now, worked in concert with China to mitigate Chinese embarrassment for the coronavirus originating in Wuhan. So ‘reshoring’ America’s manufacturing and industrial base is now inevitable.
We must begin the conversation of what that ‘reshoring’ process will look like because there is such a complex web of private and public interests at play, made even more complex by the fact that China maintains tangible ownership and control over many of its privately held corporates.
There are ultimately three reasons why ‘reshoring’ is difficult in the near term. First, ‘reshoring’ requires ownership, including stock ownership, to be divorced from interests in China AND the many vassals that China now exerts total control over.
America should not legislate this divorce because there are many interests within the communist regime that would like to steer away from socialism and toward American style free market capitalism. Simply identifying these interests would go a long way for both Federal and State Governments in how they manage the Post Pandemic Renovation process. This process will inevitably include bailouts that must not ‘bail-out’ foreign interests, especially Chinese owned interests.
Second, and a much more difficult challenge, is understanding Chinese ownership of real assets, especially in American cities. These assets can range from real estate to Hollywood movie companies. Stock ownership and real assets must be understood before the American supply chain can be ‘reshored’ because otherwise we will have a ‘hyper’ trade war where Chinese interests are sabotaging American owned property and corporates.
The third and most challenging process to ‘reshore’ is the actual restructuring of American manufacturing. American manufacturing is operating strongly at the ‘Tier 1’ and ‘Tier 1A level of the supply chain. However, at the ‘lower’ tiers, downstream of large corporate manufacturers, American manufacturing is struggling, to say the least, utilizing outdated equipment and slowly downsizing over the past four decades as contracts left for ‘greener’ pastures.
These struggling manufacturing companies are in regions like the Rust Belt and in much of rural America. Policies, led by ‘overstepping’ Unions, have gutted manufacturing in places like the Rust Belt ‘hyper-politicizing’ the shop floor. ‘Reshoring’ American manufacturing will require not only the mobilization of capital, especially in the lower tiers of the manufacturing supply chain, but it will require a policy framework that facilitates rapid production to accommodate new orders and also rapidly increases the ability of privately held manufacturers.
These policies can range from integrating new technology and intellectual property into smaller manufacturers to ‘re-skilling’ employees in rural areas to operate advanced equipment and machinery.
‘Reshoring’ American manufacturing is one of the most important priorities in the United States right now. The President would do well to create a temporary cabinet level position that is responsible for ‘reshoring’ American manufacturing. The new cabinet level position should be led by Mr. Robert Lighthizer, a bulldog for American manufacturing interests. Mr. Lighthizer is one of the few men or women in this country who understands the full breadth of the manufacturing supply chain, not only in the United States, but across the world. He is also an expert in the Chinese manufacturing supply chain and has the ability to pull additional revenue and production away from Chinese vassal States.
I encourage legislators to explore this topic further, and when the time comes, do not forget Mr. Lighthizer’s unique capability and knowledge of global manufacturing.