Tennessee U.S. Senator-Elect Bill Hagerty (R) said Wednesday the coronavirus has awakened Americans to the threat of China and called for bringing manufacturing back to the United States, particularly for strategic resources the United States relies on.
“America and the world can thank China for the fact that we’re wearing masks, we’ve been locked down, and we’ve [lost] so many lives here in America and around the world,” he said in an interview with SiriusXM Breitbart News Tonight with host Breitbart News Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle.
“Make no mistake, they spread this virus around the world and they need to be held accountable,” he said, citing China locking down travel within the country from Wuhan, where the virus originated, but still allowing travel to America.
He said one byproduct of the coronavirus is that America is “awakened” to the threat China poses, and predicts that more Americans will want products “Made in America” and not products made in China. He said:
I think we’re going to work very hard to strengthen and fortify our supply chains and reduce our dependency on China because they don’t have our best interests at heart… We do not need to be reliant on them for antibiotics production, we’ve got great potential in my home state of Tennessee to address that.
We don’t need to be relying on them for our medical supplies and equipment. And we certainly do not need to be reliant on them for things that are strategic like our high technology, our military technology, things like rare earths, that are only often times only sourced today from China just because they’ve made their environmental so much more lax than the rest of the world.
It’s also become very very clear to Americans that China has ripped off intellectual property, you know, they’ve manufactured products that might look like the authentic product made here in America but they’re cheaper, they’re inferior, we don’t need to stand for them anymore.
I think Americans have taken a much more critical eye to what they’re buying and I think Americans clearly favor products produced here in America.
Hagerty, who served as President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Japan from 2017 to 2019, last week won his race for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee, to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN).