ICYMI: McKinley Op-Ed: Shortages of key goods during the coronavirus pandemic revealed America's dangerous dependence on foreign countries.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an op-ed that ran in Business Insider, Reps. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-W.Va.) and Tim Ryan (D-O.H.) discussed how the recent shortages of medical supplies and equipment are just one example of the risks we face due to the U.S. dependence on China and other foreign nations for making many of our vital goods.

The Congressional Commission we call for in the op-ed would address these questions:

  • How can we predict future supply chain disruptions?
  • What can we do now to reduce future vulnerabilities and risks?
  • Can we make the supply chain resilient enough to protect our needed capabilities and resources?

Click here to read the full op-ed.

Below is an excerpt:

Many Americans were shocked to find that the largest and most advanced economy on Earth was unable to find or produce enough face masks, ventilators, hand sanitizer, testing kits, hospital beds, sedatives, and other medical necessities in response to the COVID-19 crisis. But these supply chain limitations did not surprise those of us in Congress who have been sounding the alarm for many years about our nation's dangerous dependence on foreign countries.

Without the development of a new national manufacturing strategy, the same forces that drove the United States to neglect our critical supply chains will continue to put our security at risk.

Recent shortages of medical supplies and equipment are just one example of the risks we face due to US reliance on other countries for making many of our critical products.

 

The COVID-19 crisis has been a terrible tragedy for our country and the world. Allowing our nation and the US Congress to go back to business as usual would be a disservice to the American people. This is a wakeup call for the United States.

If we don't take the time now to fix the shortcomings exposed in our national manufacturing strategy, the next crisis—whether it's a pandemic, a war, or something else—may not afford us another a chance.

 

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