USA - ‘Buy American’ Goal Elusive?

Arno Froese

Increasing U.S. manufacturing, a central tenet of Biden’s presidential campaign, has proven a vexing challenge for previous administrations, including that of former President Donald Trump here.

Lower wages and weaker environmental standards have triggered the exodus of key manufacturing capabilities to China and other countries in recent decades, including medical equipment, resulting in critical gaps laid bare during the COVID-19 pandemic.

China overtook the United States as the world’s top manufacturer in 2010, and was responsible for 28% of global output in 2018, according to United Nations data.

The U.S. trade deficit surged to $68 billion in November, its highest level in 14 years, as businesses scrambled to fill shelves with foreign goods and supply domestic factories reliant on foreign parts, offsetting a rise in exports.

The challenge in buying more U.S.-made goods is partly a reflection of the erosion of many basic industries. Major U.S. retailers, including Wal-Mart, have launched high profile “Made in America” campaigns, only to court foreign manufacturers afterward to get the goods consumers wanted. In 2015, the retailer faced a probe by the Federal Trade Commission for labeling products that were only partly made in the country.

Business groups blasted the Trump administration’s push here to expand “Buy American” mandates to the medical equipment and pharmaceutical sectors, warning they could worsen shortages during the pandemic.

Asked if the order would be seen as protectionist, the official said it was fully consistent with U.S. commitments under the World Trade Organization. The White House hopes to work with trade partners to modernize global rules, he said.

-www.reuters.com, 25 January 2021

Arno's Commentary

The free-market system is not free; it never was and never will be. Anyone who has ever tried to export or to import a product has experienced how frustrating it really is.

Some years ago, Midnight Call Ministries imported Dr. Roger Liebi’s book, Are We Really Living in the Last Days? from a publisher in Germany. It wasn’t easy and, due to the complication and cost involved, we could no longer offer books by this great Christian author. 

Based on prophetic Scripture, in the last stages of the end times, not only nations, but also individuals will be strictly controlled in their ability to buy and sell. “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16-17).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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