The world economy has ground to a halt. And while we’re dealing with this nonsense, China has also reportedly tried to corner the market on personal protection equipment which is essential for health care workers around the world. The Trump administration is fully aware of the situation and is mulling legal action. The New York Post quoted one senior lawyer said China’s actions concerning this alleged hoarding is akin to a first-degree murder charge (via NY Post):
Leading US manufacturers of medical safety gear told the White House that China prohibited them from exporting their products from the country as the coronavirus pandemic mounted — even as Beijing was trying to “corner the world market” in personal protective equipment, The Post has learned.
Now, the Trump administration is weighing legal action against China over its alleged actions, a lawyer for President Trump said Sunday.
“In criminal law, compare this to the levels that we have for murder,” said Jenna Ellis, a senior legal adviser to Trump’s re-election campaign.
“People are dying. When you have intentional, cold-blooded, premeditated action like you have with China, this would be considered first-degree murder.”
Ellis said the options under consideration include filing a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights or working “through the United Nations.”
Executives from 3M and Honeywell told US officials that the Chinese government in January began blocking exports of N95 respirators, booties, gloves and other supplies produced by their factories in China, according to a senior White House official.
China paid the manufacturers their standard wholesale rates, but prohibited the vital items from being sold to anyone else, the official said.
Around the same time that China cracked down on PPE exports, official data posted online shows that it imported 2.46 billion pieces of “epidemic prevention and control materials” between Jan. 24 and Feb. 29, the White House official said.
Michael Wessell, a founding member of the federal US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, confirmed the situation and said the Chinese maneuvering had left American hospitals “starved of PPE to fight this crisis.”
U.S. companies are finding out they don't own their own factories in China. When they tried to export THEIR medical equipment, the Chinese government stopped them: https://t.co/TgnCkfHJMP @nypost— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) April 6, 2020
This is insane.— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) April 6, 2020
U.S. companies with factories in China have tried to export medical supplies to the United States,
Only for the goods to be stopped from being sent by the Chinese government.
We must end our dependency on China!
China must pay a high price for #Covid_19— Luke Coffey (@LukeDCoffey) April 6, 2020
As of today, U.S. deaths from Wuhan coronavirus infection are rapidly approaching 10,000. There are over 336,000 cases, most of which reside in New York City and the tri-state area. President Trump and his Wuhan virus task force have worked hard to increase testing and create better models that are currently being shipped out. Ventilators are now being manufactured as quickly as possible.Far past time to disentangle and restructure vital U.S. supply chains.https://t.co/uot9RCOfHY— Martijn Rasser (@MartijnRasser) April 6, 2020
Distilleries are now making hand sanitizer. My Pillow is now shifting their production to medical masks, making anywhere from 10,000-50,000 masks a day. American business has answered the call. Retired army doctors have also answered the call. But it makes it all the more maddening when we hear stories about how the Chinese are just bo jangling around because they’re either West-averse or insufferably greedy.