July 2020 Archive

July 31, 2020
A Comprehensive COVID-19 Vaccine Plan: Efficient Manufacturing, Financing, and Distribution

Finding a vaccine that works effectively and ensuring that the vaccine is mass distributed are two different challenges. Rapid manufacturing and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine will rank as one of the most challenging government initiatives ever undertaken. Lives—and a normal way of life—are at stake. But with aggressive planning, management, and funding, a strong and competent federal government has an opportunity to prove that it can be an extraordinary force for good in people’s lives.

July 31, 2020
The World’s Supply Chain Isn’t Ready for a Covid-19 Vaccine (Bloomberg)

Making a vaccine quickly is hard enough but distributing one worldwide offers a host of other variables, and conflicting forces may work against the effort: The infrastructure powering the global economy is scaling down for a protracted downturn just as pharmaceutical companies need to scale up for the biggest and most consequential product launch in modern history.

July 27, 2020
Japan helps 87 companies to break from China after pandemic exposed overreliance

Japan is paying 87 companies to shift production back home or into Southeast Asia after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted supply chains and exposed an overreliance on Chinese manufacturing. While China’s economy is already recovering from the coronavirus shock, the pandemic threatens to dent its reputation as the “factory of the world” — at least in some industries.

July 22, 2020
The Pandemic Isn’t Bringing Back Factory Jobs, at Least Not Yet (NYT)

It’s a moment of reckoning for global supply chains. But that doesn’t mean companies are flocking back to the United States.
There are good reasons for some companies to move out of China. Wages are rising, whittling away at one incentive to manufacture there. And deep fissures between the United States and China have opened in areas like security and technology, which could lead to more aggressive action by either side, regardless of who wins the presidential election in November. Still, more companies leaving China does not necessarily represent a win for American workers. Like La-Z-Boy, many companies that are moving some facilities out of China are relocating to countries where wages are even lower. While U.S. trade with China fell sharply last year, imports from Vietnam, Taiwan and Mexico swelled. For many companies, making their supply chains more resilient has actually meant spreading out production around the world, not concentrating it in the United States. Purveyors of consumer products, fast food and automobiles continue to expand in China, which is home to a rapidly growing consumer market and the world’s greatest concentration of factories. Some firms have struggled to find factory space or skilled workers outside of China.