PortandTerminal.com, April 30, 2020
WASHINGTON – The US is in talks with its “friends”, including India, for restructuring the global supply chains, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said, as he praised New Delhi for lifting the export ban on critical medical supplies to combat the global coronavirus pandemic.
The novel coronavirus has infected over 3,224,079 people and claimed more than 228,908 lives across the globe. The US is the worst-hit with 1,043,595 cases and 61,187 deaths — the highest in the world.
Addressing a news conference here on Wednesday, Pompeo said, “We’re working with our friends in Australia, India and Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, and Vietnam to share information and best practices as we begin to move the global economy forward.”
Pompeo continued adding that “Our conversation certainly involved global supply chains, keeping them running smoothly, getting our economies back to full strength and thinking about how we restructure the supply change chains to prevent something like this from ever happening again,” he said.
“One example of our work together is with India. It has lifted export bans on critical medical supplies, including pharmaceuticals, used to treat some COVID-19 patients, he said. Over the last few weeks, Pompeo has spoken over the phone — at least four times — with India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
Secretary Pompeo’s announcement comes as countries around the world are rethinking their over-reliance upon the factories of China. Back in February, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro expressed his belief that the coronavirus crisis shows, “not surprisingly,” that the U.S. has offshored too much of its supply chain.
Navarro emphasized his goal to bring more of the U.S. supply chain home. “A lot of it is in China, some of it is in India, some in Europe, but we’ve got to get that back onshore,” he said.
Australia is also questioning its reliance on Chinese factories. Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said Australia wanted to maintain a positive relationship with China, but would also seek other supply opportunities in places such as India and the European Union. Australia and China are currently in a war of words over Australia’s push to investigate China’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.
(With reporting by the Indian Express)
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