The US administration is reportedly “turbocharging” an initiative to remove global industrial supply chains from China as Washington weighs new tariffs to punish Beijing for its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The US Commerce Department, State and other agencies are reportedly looking for solutions to push US companies to move both sourcing and manufacturing out of China.
US President Donald Trump, who has stepped up attacks on Bejing ahead of the US presidential election in November, has long pledged to bring manufacturing back to America.
Trump has repeatedly said that he had the intention to impose new tariffs on top of the up to 25% tax on $370 billion in Chinese goods currently in place.
The crisis of the US economy is driving a government-wide push to move US production and supply chain dependency away from China. Tax incentives and re-shoring subsidies are among the potential measures currently considered by the US administration to spur changes.
“We’ve been working on (reducing the reliance of our supply chains in China) over the last few years but we are now turbo-charging that initiative,” Keith Krach, undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment at the State Department told Reuters. “I think it is essential to understand where the critical areas are and where critical bottlenecks exist.”
The US Commerce Department on Monday launched a national security probe that could lead to new tariffs on imports of key components of power transformers.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US had “enormous evidence” that the COVID-19 pandemic originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, echoing a claim previously made by US President Donald Trump.
“There is enormous evidence that this is where it began,” Pompeo said to ABC news. “These are not the first times that we’ve had a world exposed to viruses as a result of failures in a Chinese lab.”
On Thursday, Trump also claimed at the White House press conference that he had seen evidence that the coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab, ratcheting up tensions with Beijing over the origins of the outbreak.