As Japan is planning to allocate billions to help its manufacturers shift production out of China, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Thursday predicted that there will be more a greater exodus “as the world turns against China” amid the CCP Virus (coronavirus) pandemic. 

Japanese companies will receive funding from the country’s record economic stimulus package—220 billion yen (US$2.2 billion) to bring production back home due to the devastating effects of the pandemic that emanated from the Hubei Province in China.

The budget includes 220 billion yen (US$2 billion) for companies shifting production back to Japan and 23.5 billion yen for those seeking to relocate to other countries, according to South China Morning Post.

For a long time, China has been Japan’s biggest trading partner. Before the virus outbreak, Chinese leader Xi Jinping had planned a state visit to Japan in early April, the first in a decade, for a celebration of friendlier ties between the two nations. The visit has not been rescheduled due to the spread of the virus and it may not be rescheduled anytime soon given Japan’s decision to move business out of China.

At a briefing in Beijing on April 8, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, “We are doing our best to resume economic development.” He spread the conspiracy theory that U.S. soldiers brought the CCP Virus to Wuhan. “In this process, we hope other countries will act like China and take proper measures to ensure the world economy will be impacted as little as possible and ensure that supply chains are impacted as little as possible.”

President Donald Trump in August 2019, ordered U.S. firms to “immediately start looking for an alternative to China” and build more products in the United States when he announced taxes on Chinese imports as punishment for allegedly stealing intellectual property from U.S. companies. 

Following the president’s decision to raise tariffs and his order, dozens of executives have signaled plans to further diversify their supply chains, including Hasbro, Walmart suppliers, and furniture retailer Lovesac. Now, in the aftermath of the pandemic, more U.S. companies will be leaving China, according to a new report released by global manufacturing consulting firm Kearney.

“Three decades ago, U.S. producers began manufacturing and sourcing in China for one reason: costs. The trade war brought a second dimension more fully into the equation―risk―as tariffs and the threat of disrupted China imports prompted companies to weigh surety of supply more fully alongside costs. COVID-19 brings a third dimension more fully into the mix­, and arguably to the fore: resilience―the ability to foresee and adapt to unforeseen systemic shocks,” said Patrick Van den Bossche, Kearney partner and co-author of the report.

On Capital Hill, Cotton has already taken action. In March, Cotton and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) introduced a bill to end U.S. dependence on China for pharmaceutical manufacturing. 

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