Trade barriers won't give US advantage in supply chains

2021-03-05 12:09:34

A grocery worker pulls a pallet of bottled water at a Market Street store in Odessa, Texas. [Photo/Agencies] US President Joe Biden recently signed an executive order directing federal departments and agencies to assess the supply chain risks for key products and industries. The United States has, over the past few decades, transferred multiple links in its manufacturing sector to other countries, bringing about a lot of changes in its domestic supply chain, but the most cutting-edge technologies are still with the US. This kind of industrial and supply chain model has not only helped US companies reduce production costs and maximize profits, but also facilitated the US' social development and scientific and technological progress. So it is unrealistic and unscientific to forcibly promote industrial transfers and change the economic laws by using policies. Not only can it not solve the problems being faced by the US, it will also damage the well-established global industrial and supply chains. In the era of globalization, the formation and development of global industrial and supply chains are guided by market laws and enterprise choices. With the rapid development of science and technology, the manufacturing process has become increasingly complicated. For example, an ordinary car now has more than 10,000 independent parts that cannot be disassembled, and without the international division of labor, it is impossible to manufacture cars. In times of scientific and technological innovation, opening-up and cooperation are the best way for a country to stay at the forefront of development. Any country trying to gain advantage in supply chains by creating trade barriers is doomed to failure. So far, the COVID-19 pandemic has not been contained worldwide, global economic recovery remains gloomy, and the US' economic outlook is still uncertain. US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently warned that the US job market remains weak. In this context, the emergence of fresh trade barriers will have a negative impact on the recovery of the US and global economies. Greater openness and cooperation are the best ways the US can build a healthy supply chain. Decision-makers in the US need to respect the laws of the market economy and the rules of free trade. It is good for both the US and the world economy.