US Chamber of Commerce wants to keep America dependent on China

In this time, when the Wuhan virus is ravishing the U.S., it is beyond nauseating to read that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants America to stay dependent on China for pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and other manufacturing goods. 

That might seem hard to believe, but it appears to be the case.  Tom Donohue, the 82-year-old, well coiffed, and highly compensated president of the CoC,  is objecting to the Trump administration's "Buy American" mandates for medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.  This, the silver-tongued Donohue says, will "damage U.S. trading relationships for years to come." 

It doesn't seem to disturb Mr. Donohue that the trade relationships and practices he wishes to protect and preserve with China are exactly the ones that have hollowed out the American middle class.  They have also left the U.S. dependent on that communist country for over 90 percent of our prescription drugs and much of our medical equipment and supplies, a truly surreal situation

The CoC and the other trade groups associated with it gussied up their plea to stop the "Buy America" mandates as being in the American interest.  This is the same approach they used when they essentially wrote the disastrous trade deals of the 24-year Clinton-Bush-Obama era.  It's all for the American good, they argued.  But that line is specious.  The fact is that the CoC does not represent America.  It's the front group for the big international corporations and Wall Street.  While the middle class stagnated, these interests grew rich in deliberately de-industrializing the U.S.  Now they want to protect their investments in China.  It's really as simple as that. 

In this time of crisis, how could Donohue have such a tin ear?  How can he be so oblivious to what is happening here and throughout the world?  Does he not know the old rules of "doing business" have radically changed?  Donald Trump is president, and he has some hard as nails trade negotiators like Peter Navarro and Wilbur Ross at Commerce who are not going to blink.

The CoC and its ilk have gotten away with what they have in the past because they basically flew below the public's radar.  Then there was little risk to influence-peddling on the Hill.  That was considered business as usual in Washington.  Not anymore.  When people's lives are directly affected as they are now with this Chinese virus, they pay strict attention.  Taking money to support China, even if it is washed through a number of intermediates, will find few political takers. 

My advice to Mr. Donohue is to tell his big corporation clients to start selling off their investments in China for what they can get and plan on coming home.  If not, someone else will make what their Chinese factories do.  Now, that's in America's national interest.

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