New Op-ed: Philly shows America First means American jobs
Philly shows America First means American jobs
A new headline every day shows how decisions made decades ago threaten American leadership in industry and technology.
For example, the coronavirus reveals the danger of having China as the sole source supplier of materials for our key industries.
Scott Gottlieb, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner in the Trump administration told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, "95 percent of U.S. imports of ibuprofen, 91 percent of U.S. imports of hydrocortisone, 70 percent of U.S. imports of acetaminophen, 40 to 45 percent of U.S. imports of penicillin, and … 80 percent of the U.S. supply of antibiotics are made in China."
Even worse, many of the pharmaceutical ingredients are made in Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
Meanwhile, the UAW leaders tell the Wall Street Journal shortages of parts from China due to the coronavirus could shut down major GM plants in Flint, Michigan, and Arlington, Texas.
Aside from the disease outbreak the danger of our dependence on China is increasingly clear.
The FBI is uncovering China's infiltration of American industry, university and research labs while the Commerce Department is taking steps to counter China's subsidies and predatory trade polices that are bankrupting American businesses.
After decades of complacency in Washington, the Trump administration sounded the alarm on China's drive to dominate key industries, including electric battery production, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and 5G telecommunications equipment.
President Trump understands a strong economy is essential to national security.
To that end, the administration has increased spending on science and research; NASA funding is up by 12% in the new budget.
Congress appropriated $1 billion to help rural telecom providers rip out and replace Huawei equipment.
The Export-Import Bank has established the "Program on China and Transformational Exports" to support American exports that compete directly with exports from the People's Republic of China and advanced technology exports.
In addition to dominating emerging technologies, our national security depends on having a strong domestic foundation for basic industries whether it's the mining and processing of critical minerals such as rare earths and cobalt, or the refining of petroleum.
The president's policies have made the U.S. the world's leading producer of oil and natural gas. We must also have a healthy domestic refining industry to ensure the decades-long dream of American energy independence is a reality.
Last June, a fire knocked out the Philadelphia Energy Solutions 335,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Philadelphia. It's the largest on the East Coast supplying the Northeast with heating and transportation fuels.
Philadelphia Energy Solutions declared bankruptcy, and the refinery was shut down following the fire.
The Trump administration understands the importance of maintaining domestic refining capacity and is working to reopen the facility.
If the East Coast's largest oil refinery closes, the Northeast would be dependent upon imported fuel. More than a thousand jobs and our national security are at stake.
"These are great jobs for Philly," Peter Navarro, assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing policy, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "This is a way to advance the energy-policy agenda, the economic-policy agenda, and the national-security agenda. So we'd love to see that remain as a refinery."
President Trump is clear eyed: We face a strategic threat from Communist China and other foreign competitors. The America First agenda counters that threat by ensuring the goods and technologies Americans depend on are produced by Americans.
-Curtis Ellis is the senior policy advisor for America First Policies.