Things were normal.
Then they weren’t.
Then critical global supply chains closed.
It all happened that fast. In some instances, it happened even faster. The World Health Organization (WHO) determined that coronavirus was a pandemic on March 11th, but for nearly two months prior to that significant parts of a Chinese manufacturing sector American companies depend on had been locked down or affected by COVID-19.
Then, in the midst of a crisis, our dependency on foreign supply chains became all too evident and crippled our ability to respond.
Panjiva, a London-based import/export service, found that over 450 importers in the United States use suppliers in Hubei province, where researchers believe the disease originated. Panjiva also found that American electronics manufacturers rely on Chinese suppliers for fifty percent of their components. Domestic automotive manufacturers get fifteen percent of their parts from China. When experts state that the collapse of Chinese supply chains could cripple American manufacturing, they mean it.
This time, it was the coronavirus.
Next time, it could be a different pandemic.