The COVID19 episode exposed a critical weakness — the American supply chain (particularly medical and pharmaceutical manufacturing) was grounded so thoroughly in China that it could not serve the United States when it was desperately needed.
China prevented American companies from shipping product manufactured by American companies in China to the US.
Everyone was quick to say — “Bring the strategic supply chain back home to America!”
Like a lot of good ideas, it requires real action to make real change. How could this obvious strategic move be instigated? Where would the leadership come from? How would it be funded?
I am pleased to report that this is, in fact, happening.
Today, we learn the following:
1. Kodak is bringing an important part of the supply chain back home to America — medical manufacturing, specifically pharmaceuticals, specifically generic drugs.
2. The US government, using its authority under the Defense Production Act (technically the Development Finance Corporation), has lent Kodak $765,000,000 to begin repatriating the production of pharmaceutical ingredients for generics.
3. This will be headquartered in upstate New York, an area of the state and the country that was once a strong manufacturing area.
4. Coming home with this strategic supply chain manufacturing will be thousands of manufacturing jobs.
5. This manufacturing will come from both China and India.
This change is a “reshoring” of manufacturing that was once done in the US and it reshores jobs that were once performed in America. It is the correction of a mistake, a huge mistake that we made with the offshoring of these plants and jobs.
How did this happen, Big Red Car?
Easy one — because the Trump admin issued an Executive Order directing the Development Finance Corporation and the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy (headed by Peter Navarro, one of my favorite DC guys these days, straight shooter) to “sort this out.”
This is a very good thing for our country and I hope you will applaud it, encourage it, and talk it up.
But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be well, y’all. Welcome home, supply chain. This is a good thing.