A thoughtful post (as always) from Peter Grant, containing this insight:
[The company] sources a very large proportion of its products from that country, but its suppliers there — factories and exporters — are closed, and have been for weeks. No-one knows when they’ll be open again. The company is finding it very difficult to line up alternative suppliers fast enough to ensure that their products can get here in time to replace Chinese ones on their shelves as they run out. If they can’t . . . they’ll have to close their doors. It’s that simple.
Thousands of Chinese factories are closed because of the corona virus epidemic over there, and products of all kinds (not just the types referenced in the above excerpt) are not being shipped.
This, by the way, is why every country needs its own manufacturing base. I know: sometimes there are considerable cost savings to be realized by outsourcing production to cheaper (i.e. foreign) facilities — but those savings are only to be had if there is no disruption to the supply chain. Come disaster — and given that China is one of the most consistently pox-ridden nations on Earth, and the source of so many of the world’s diseases — it should be clear that all those trumpeted “savings” are going to evaporate faster than Jeffrey Epstein’s emails.
Of particular concern is the fact that most pharmaceutical products are now either made in China, or else manufactured using Chinese raw materials — not just prescription meds, but also OTC stuff like analgesics. Loyal Readers may recall that I myself had a scare in this regard a little while back, and learning my lesson from that, I set up a forward supply of my two most critical medications.
If you’re dependent on such meds, I hope you’ve done the same.
And just in passing, I should point out that all this has validated Trump’s initiatives in bringing manufacturing back home to the U.S. — although I doubt that Big Pharma ever responded, even though they should have — and if there is any criticism to be made here, it’s that Trump hasn’t pushed hard enough, through tariff protection of local manufacturing entities.
You see, it’s not just about protecting local workers, laudable though that may be; it’s about strategically protecting the country from situations such as these. And we need to do a lot more of that, if the current catastrophe teaches us anything at all.