• By The Financial District


The United States has become overly reliant on Chinese goods and services, including face masks, medical gowns and other protective equipment designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Attorney General William Barr told Eric Tucker of Associated Press (AP) late on Thursday (Friday, July 17, 2020 in Manila.).

Barr also cautioned American business leaders against promoting policies favorable to Beijing even as US investors insist that it will be hard to replace the supply chains in China that AmerIcan corporations employ to manufacture cheaper products.

Barr asserted that China had not only dominated the market on protective gear, exposing American dependence on Beijing, but had also hoarded supplies and blocked producers from exporting them to countries in need. He accused hackers linked to the Chinese government of targeting American universities and businesses to steal research related to vaccine development, leveling the allegation against Beijing hours after Western agencies made similar claims against Russia.

Barr’s address at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is part of a full-court press by the Trump administration to denounce China, including for its alleged economic espionage. It comes as President Donald Trump tries to fend off criticism of his handling of the coronavirus and to shift the blame back onto Beijing, and as he looks to position himself as tougher on China than Democratic rival Joe Biden.