Trump: Pandemic Shows Globalism Doesn’t Work

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.
April 20, 2020Updated: April 20, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the necessity of having domestic supply chains, clashing with the ideals of globalism, President Donald Trump said on April 19.

“This pandemic has underscored the vital importance of restoring our supply chains and bringing them back into the United States, where they should have never left,” Trump told reporters in Washington, saying that people who think otherwise are globalists.

“What happens if you are in a war, and you have a supply chain where half your supplies are given to you by other countries?

“It doesn’t work. It certainly doesn’t work during rough times, bad times, dangerous times.”

The president has repeatedly denounced globalism, before and after entering office. He has said domestic manufacturing is key to maintaining economic power, and decried the offshoring of production through deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which studies show contributed to thousands of lost jobs.

Membership in unelected global bodies such as the United Nations, and participation in global deals such as the Paris climate accord, have also been opposed by Trump, who has withdrawn from some accords and worked on strengthening America’s role in others. Trump’s presumed rival for the presidency, Joe Biden, supports reentering the nuclear deal with Iran and the Paris accord. He has harangued Trump for his actions, as have many top Democrats.

Trump has increasingly voiced discontent with the World Health Organization (WHO), a United Nations group that is close to the Chinese Communist Party and has been accused of helping the regime cover up the pandemic caused by the CCP virus.

Trump also appeared to compare WHO with the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding connections with China.

“If you look at some of the investigations that are going on in terms of World Health Organization—and I’ll take it a step further: the World Trade Organization, too.

Epoch Times Photo
President Donald Trump takes questions at the daily CCP virus briefing at the White House on April 19, 2020. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Epoch Times Photo
The opening of a World Trade Organization ministerial meeting on the sideline of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 24, 2020. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

“The World Trade Organization, from the day China came in, that’s where China bloomed,” Trump said. “They were mainlining it, and then ‘boom,’ they were up like a rocket ship, because they took advantage of every little ridiculous clause in the World Trade Organization documents.”

The president said he was elected likely in part because of the actions of China, noting he campaigned heavily on trade, telling voters the United States was “getting ripped off.”

Trump championed deals he’s made with Japan and Mexico, while calling NAFTA “one of the worst deals ever made in trade history.”

The WTO declined to comment on Trump’s remarks. The organization’s website states that its main function is to make sure trade “flows as smoothly, predictably, and freely as possible.”

Leaders of the group have recently called for countries to refrain from imposing export controls or tariffs, especially on essential goods such as medical supplies. They have promoted the notion that the United States and China should roll back tariff hikes made in recent years, including the United States immediately rolling back the 7.5 percent tariff on Chinese imports.

A downside of the pandemic, WTO Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff said in a virtual lecture on April 9, is that “governments are limiting exports and demanding that domestic production be reserved for national consumption.” Nations should consult with the WTO on such measures and give notice before putting them into place, Wolff said in March.