Flawed Economic Policies Will Exacerbate the Pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis has resuscitated some seriously bad ideas.

by Veronique de Rugy

A pandemic is not the time for imprudent public policies. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis, like many earlier ones, has resuscitated some seriously flawed ideas. I fear we may see two such notions implemented within the next few days or weeks.

One such unwise idea is a call by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro for an executive order to bring pharmaceutical and medical supply chains back to the United States, in part by placing new “Buy American” requirements on certain government agencies. Buy American requirements have been with us since the days of President Herbert Hoover. They have always been a mistake, but as Dan Ikenson of the Cato Institute recently and sensibly wrote, “during a pandemic…the White House should avoid measures that impede Americans’ access to affordable, quality medical supplies.”

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