rethinking economic assumptions
“You can’t be a great power unless you can make things.” With this simple message, Senator Rubio has changed the course of the national conversation on manufacturing. After the Cold War, Democrats and Republicans alike allowed American industries to move their factories overseas. This increased profits for shareholders, but at the cost of resilient supply chains and good jobs. Rubio was among the first in Congress to recognize this problem, and he pushed his colleagues on both sides of the political spectrum to rethink their economic assumptions.
EXPOSING BEIJING’S PLAN
In 2019, Rubio released “Made in China 2025 and the Future of American Industry,” a detailed report that explains how China’s plan to dominate critical supply chains threatens our national interest. Later, he spoke at the National Defense University and explicitly called for “pro-American industrial policy” to counter Beijing. So-called experts and fellow policymakers dismissed this departure from free-market fundamentalism. Then COVID-19 unraveled global supply chains, and China threatened to cut off America’s medical supplies. The Washington establishment quickly changed its tune.
SECURING SUPPLY CHAINS
in 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order called for a 100-day review across federal agencies to address vulnerabilities, welcomed the order. “I urge the Biden Administration to work with Republicans and Democrats,” he said, “to revive our manufacturing and industrial capacity.” The following year, a Rubio bill to strengthen and secure military supply chains became law.
Currently, Rubio has six major manufacturing proposals, including the bipartisan National Development Strategy and Coordination Act, which would create an interagency council to strategically direct federal financing according to a National Development Plan. Rubio has also introduced a resolution of disapproval to ensure funds for electric vehicle charging stations go exclusively to Made in America products. Similarly, in a committee-passed appropriations bill, he included a provision to ban semiconductor manufacturing subsidies from going to factories in China. There is no reason why taxpayer dollars should amplify China’s hold on this critical 21st-century supply chain.