The trade war amplified calls in the U.S. and elsewhere for reducing dependence on China for strategic goods. Now, the pandemic has politicians vowing to take action.
The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has talked about bringing supply chains home from China, and even publicly floated the need for a group of friendly nations in Asia that could help produce essential goods. Trump last month even said the U.S. would "save $500 billion” if it cut off ties with China.
But interviews with nearly a dozen government officials and analysts in the Asia-Pacific region show that any broader effort to restructure supply chains is little more than wishful thinking so far. While governments are pushing to win investments, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s planned state-of-the-art semiconductor factory in the U.S., it won’t be simple to dismantle an entrenched system when many companies are struggling to survive.