(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called this a "hinge-moment in history" that will change business as usual, not only in this country but around the world.
"What we are learning now, unfortunately the hard way, is that we are all for free enterprise and capitalism -- I'm for that 100 percent. But capitalism is always going to move money to the most efficient outcome, and that's generally the right thing. We want that," Rubio told Fox News's Martha MacCallum:
But from time to time, the most efficient outcome isn't in our national interest. So the most efficient outcome is that these medicines being made in China, that is not in our national interest. It's not in our national interest that we can make these ventilators, but we can't make the parts that can go into the ventilator.
These are critical national security matters for the future of our country. The industrial capacity of a nation still matters. You still have to be a place that can make things or be able to get things from places that are reliable, and that is a painful lesson that we are learning right now that we need to institute in policy so something like this never happens again.
In the case of China, in particular, they have openly threatened to cut us off from medicines. If that is not a wake-up call to this country, nothing ever will be.
Rubio said the U.S. must create demand for products to be made in the USA. He credited the "buy American" initiatives pursued by the White House, especially as it applies to pharmaceuticals used by the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order last July, stating: "It is the policy of the United States to buy American and to maximize, consistent with law, the use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States. To those ends, my Administration shall enforce the Buy American Act to the greatest extent permitted by law."
This was his third executive order on buying American-made goods, and it came months before COVID-19 erupted in China.
Sen. Rubio noted that China will fight the buy-American effort by under-pricing its own products to make it "not cost effective" for anyone else to produce those products.
However, Rubio said, "It is in the national interest of this country to be able to make things and from time to time, in order to do that, you have to create incentives that allow you to invest here instead of somewhere else."