Saturday, February 1, 2020

Wilbur Ross: The Wuhan Coronavirus is Wonderful for the United States

This is how insane pre-Adam Smith-type mercantilist thinking can get.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business News on Thursday:
Well, first of all, every American's heart has to go out to the victims of the coronavirus. So, I don't want to talk about a victory lap over a very unfortunate, 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, 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. So, I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America. Some to U.S., probably some to Mexico, as well.
A Wall Street Journal editorial gets it right when it notes:
This is apparently how you think when you believe that global trade and commerce are a zero-sum game. Mr. Ross has become so focused on treating China as an economic adversary that he sees every loss for China as a net benefit to the U.S. But as the markets are saying, a slowdown or recession in China caused by the virus and quarantine will have economic consequences around the world—including the U.S. 
Trade benefits both sides or it wouldn't occur. This is basic.

If the virus is limiting production in China so more such products must be made in the United States, it must draw from labor and capital that is currently producing other products. That is, it shrinks the pool of goods and services produced. It is a general decline in the standard of living.



  1. Is that guy totally INSANE or what?!?! Doesn't he realize that NCV hitting us HERE is going to devastate OUR economy and production as well? Is he living in some kind of a vacuum, or is it just that there's a vacuum in his head??? Does he think that it's not really going to be a big deal for us too? Like no Americans are going to come down with it and die? Or it won't impact us and our way of life, just "foreigners"? Good grief, somebody PLEASE feed him an ounce or two of common sense so he doesn't die without any!!!

  2. What if there is a rejuvenation of engineering resources in the united states? Take the oil money from western North Dakota Design higher order capital goods to make oil field service products locally at a cheaper price. Avoid shipping costs.

    More round about way?

  3. It amazes me how much of a fool he is in having no clue the rest of the pacific rim labor pools have already absorbed fleeing chinese manufacturing. Its not coming back ever! Not in any meaningful way.

  4. "victory lap?" There are no winners. But there is a loser: Ross