By Arul Louis
New York, April 30 (IANS) With nations around the world battered by their dependence on China for vital supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that Washington was discussing restructuring global supply chains with India and other Indo-Pacific “friends”.
He said at a news conference in Washington on Wednesday that conversations with leaders of India and the other Indo-Pacific countries involve “thinking about how we restructure these supply chains to prevent something like this from ever happening again”.
“One example of our work together is with India. It’s lifted export bans on critical medical supplies, including pharmaceuticals used to treat some COVID-19 patients,” he said.
During the discussions with also Australia, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea and New Zealand, they shared “information and best practices as we begin to move the global economy forward” and “getting our economies back to full strength”, he said.
India, like the US and other countries, has had to import medical supplies for meeting the COVID-19 pandemic that originated in China and spread around the world from there.
The US, in particular, has had to compete with other countries for the dwindling supplies of personal protection equipment (PPE) putting its healthcare workers at risk.
China, meanwhile, has been able to exercise influence through th stranglehold on the essential supplies, while profiting from the rising prices for them.
(Arul Louis can be contacted at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @arulouis)