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Trump Weighs Legal Action Against China Over PPE Hoarding As International ‘Mask Wars’ Heat Up

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The Trump administration is considering legal action against China after leading US manufacturers of medical safety gear say Beijing has prohibited them from exporting goods in what the New York Post says was a bid to “corner the world market” in personal protective equipment (PPE).

“In criminal law, compare this to the levels that we have for murder,” said Trump re-election campaign senior legal adviser, Jenna Ellis, who says that legal options include filing a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights or working ‘through the United Nations.”

“People are dying. When you have intentional, cold-blooded, premeditated action like you have with China, this would be considered first-degree murder,” she added.

Executives from 3M and Honeywell told US officials that the Chinese government in January began blocking exports of N95 respirators, booties, gloves and other supplies produced by their factories in China, according to a senior White House official.

China paid the manufacturers their standard wholesale rates, but prohibited the vital items from being sold to anyone else, the official said.

Around the same time that China cracked down on PPE exports, official data posted online shows that it imported 2.46 billion pieces of “epidemic prevention and control materials” between Jan. 24 and Feb. 29, the White House official said. –New York Post

In total, nearly $1.2 billion in gear – which included over 2 billion masks and 25 million “protective clothing” items which came from EU countries, along with Australia, Brazil and Cambodia according to the White House official.

“Data from China’s own customs agency points to an attempt to corner the world market in PPE like gloves, goggles, and masks through massive increased purchases — even as China, the world’s largest PPE manufacturer, was restricting exports,” they added.

‘Mask wars’

The shortage of vital protective equipment has pitted neighboring countries – and even US states – against each other, resulting in accusations of theft and modern piracy, according to the CBC. The United States, in particular, has been accused of stymying efforts by allies to procure said equipment – by allegedly attempting to scuttle European deals for purchases from China, as well as attempting to halt exports of US-made N95 masks to Canada and Latin America last week.

That said, a Berlin senator who accused the US of “piracy” by diverting a shipment of protective masks slated for delivery in the German capital has reversed his position – saying that no US firms were involved in the case of the still-missing masks.

The CBC suggests that ‘the apparent desperation of some of the wealthiest countries on earth’ comes as a surprise which has ‘justifiably raised eyebrows in less fortunate parts of the world’ which are now preparing for coronavirus to hit, yet with a fraction of the resources.

Striking selfishness

“It’s normal for countries to take care of their own citizens first,” said University of Ottawa professor of international affairs and former Trudeau adviser, Roland Paris – who added that the selfishness and lack of coordination among leading countries “is striking.”

“We’re unfortunately seeing a mad scramble to grab whatever’s available, to hell with the other guy,” added Paris, who’s apparently unfamiliar with game theory.

Even more stark, the mask wars have seen American and other buyers scuttling European and Brazilian deals, some even snatching shipments already promised to other jurisdictions by outbidding them—even “on the tarmac” as planes prepared to take off. Some shipments reportedly just disappear. –CBC

Not just masks…

While global PPE supplies have run critically short, nearly half the supply of hydroxychloroquine – the Trump-touted treatment for COVID-19, comes from India – which has banned exports of all form of the ‘game-changing’ drug.

Consequently – while China is without a doubt the biggest antagonist to the US, India is beginning to grate on Trump’s nerves despite his nominally cordial relationship with Modi. According to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence, 47% of the U.S. supply of the drug last year came from India makers. Only a handful of suppliers in the top 10 are non-Indian, such as Actavis, now a subsidiary of Israeli generics giant Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Still, it’s likely that some of their production facilities are nevertheless located in India.

India’s export ban on the drug is aimed at ensuring it has enough supply for domestic use after the American president’s endorsement sparked global stockpiling of the medication. Now, Trump’s decision to tout the drug will cause major shortages in the US.

Imagine if the United States hadn’t exported the manufacture of just about everything?

via zerohedge

16 COMMENTS

  1. To be perfectly honest, they’re just doing what any nation does: look out for their own interests. What this pandemic has exposed it that the globalist idea of a one-world government is a pipe-dream in today’s global environment. The idea of financial inter-dependency is based on goodwill between nations. This has been proven to be a fallacy during this pandemic. It’s the classic “every man for himself” mindset. The United States, in particular, is going to have to revert to a home based production economy once again, especially in the fields of electronics and pharmaceuticals. Allowing an overtly communist totalitarian government like China, (which has already stated openly that it intends to replace the US as the world’s biggest power) to produce most of our electronic components and critical pharmaceuticals is sheer suicide.

    We are giving them the rope to hang us with, as we did with Japan in the 1930’s. US steel, rubber and oil was used to bomb Pearl Harbor. And US grain was used to feed Japanese citizens. I propose we cancel all trade deals with hostile nations once we become financially independent. Let them see what happens when they lose 320 million consumers for their products.

  2. That’s why the USA should make their own medications and PPE. Stop being dependent on other countries!We have our own medical experts!

  3. Don’t do something realky stupid over any nation doing the same thing we would do in thecsame situation, Mr. President! China is now experiencing a growing number of new asymptomatic cases, which could be second wave if unfections! Use your brain before always retaliating against things that you perceived as an affront to you manhoid! Act like a man instead of a petulant child!

    • And you think COWARING DOWN and BEGGING them not to hurt us anymore would set things straight?? Maybe it is time for YOU, and weenies LIKE YOU start being ADULTS, and STOP letting everyone ELSE do the fighting FOR YOU!!7PER

  4. See, this is EXACTLY why it is re-e-e-e-e-e-ally STUPID to allow your country to become dependent on an IMPLACABLE enemy for supplies of vital materials and equipment! The GLOBALISTS must be VERY happy for achieving this state of dependency of the US on Communist CHINA.

  5. Well Magnon, if China had been truthful and the WHO actually did its job we the world wouldn’t be in this situation. China is is using this to make money. They’re sending out inferior product which more that half are defective. I guess they figured the longer this goes on the more money they make. My opinion is that the China Wuhan virus was purposely released. I think the democrats are in on it too with Soros leading them. Awful convenient that he owns part of lab and democrats needed economy to sink since their impeachment sham didn’t work. We need to bring our medical and drug industry here. This will help our economy alongside bringing thousands of jobs to US.

  6. Bring the manufacturing back home to the red, white and blue! When did we forget that manufacturing is what built this great nation into an affluent super power?

  7. America needs to start manufactoring our own goods! Just like oil we need to start producing all our own goods in USA and not be dependent on any other country! Definitely a learning moment.

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