In a new Op-Ed for Fox News, Tom Cotton calls for the U.S. to end their dependence on China for pharmaceutical drugs.
Earlier this month, a Chinese Communist Party propaganda outlet insinuated that Beijing could cut off supplies of life-saving medicine to the United States at any time, dooming our country to “sink into the hell of a novel coronavirus epidemic.”
Unfortunately, this isn’t an empty threat. The United States is dangerously dependent for pharmaceuticals on the very regime whose failures and coverups caused this deadly pandemic to spiral out of control.
It’s time to change that. We have a plan to end America’s dependence on Chinese drugs and take back our ability to make pharmaceuticals and medical devices right here in America.
We weren’t always dependent on China for medicine, but we are now. For two decades, the CCP has targeted America’s domestic drug manufacturers for destruction, using cartelization, state subsidies and lax safety standards to flood our hospitals and pharmacies with cheap and dangerous Chinese medicine.
This strategy succeeded in shuttering American factories, robbing our workers of good-paying jobs and our patients of high-quality medicine. Just years after the United States granted China special trade privileges in 2000, the last penicillin plant in America closed down. American factories that made aspirin, vitamin C and other essential medicine closed after that, put out of business by China’s predatory pricing.
China has come to dominate the world market for basic drugs as a result. A substantial share of all generic drugs we import comes from China, including a staggering 93 percent of all imported ibuprofen. And focusing on direct trade between China and the United States actually understates our reliance, because most of the active ingredients in drugs imported to us from countries like India also come from Chinese superlabs.
Dependence on our chief communist adversary for essential medicine is an obvious threat to national security. As Rosemary Gibson, author of “China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine,” said in testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission last year, if the CCP cut the world off from its pharmaceutical ingredients, “military hospitals and clinics would cease to function within months, if not days.”
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