According to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the coronavirus which began in China and has cause 170 deaths (along 7,700 others being infected) is good news for the U.S. economy because it will help bring jobs back to the United States as companies seek to avoid infected areas.
During an appearance on Fox Business Thursday morning, Ross told host Maria Bartiromo:
“Every American’s heart goes out to the victims of the coronavirus, so I don’t want to talk about a victory lap over a very unfortunate and very malignant disease, but the fact is it does give businesses yet another thing to consider when they go through their review of their supply chain on top of all the other things. Because you had SARS, you had the African swine virus there, now you have this. It’s another risk factor that people need to take into account.”
He then added:
“I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America, some to U.S., probably some to Mexico, as well.”
Secretary Wilbur Ross says coronavirus will be good for [checks notes] American jobs: “I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America.” pic.twitter.com/Y4SbDIcTi4
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 30, 2020
The Washington Post notes that the Trump administration has been trying its best to be supportive of Chinese efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak, but apparently Ross didn’t bother to read the memo suggesting that U.S. officials be sympathetic to the plight of those who have contracted the disease. And this isn’t the first time Ross has gone off the reservation:
“Ross has a history of breaking with the White House’s messaging. During the shutdown last year, when the White House was under extreme pressure because some federal workers were going to food banks, Ross suggested they consider taking out loans from credit unions in order to pay their bills.”
What Secretary Ross failed to factor into his calculation that the virus will be good for Americans is that if the Chinese economy takes a major economic hit, the ripples of that downturn will impact across the globe, including the U.S. The stock market has already been affected:
“Global markets also fell sharply on Thursday. China’s markets remain closed for the extended Lunar New Year holiday, but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slumped more than 2.5 percent, and Japan’s Nikkei declined 1.7 percent. Dow Jones industrial average futures were slated to drop more than 220 points at the open.”
Before Ross takes his premature victory lap, he might want to do some research on the matter.
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