Jan 30, 2020 - Science

Wilbur Ross: Coronavirus will "help" bring jobs back to the U.S. from China

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday on Fox Business' "Mornings with Maria" that the spread of coronavirus in China will "help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America."

Why it matters: The virus has killed 170 people in China and infected more than 7,700 people. Worries about the virus rattled U.S. markets this week as the Federal Reserve and other financial entities debated if they should weigh in on its potential impact.

The exchange:

WILBUR ROSS: "Well, first of all, every American's heart has to go out to the victims of the coronavirus. So I don't want to talk about a victory lap over a very unfortunate, very malignant disease. But the fact is, it does give businesses yet another thing to consider when they go through their review of their supply chain. And top of all the other things, because you had SARS, you have the African swine virus there, now you have this. It's another risk factor that people need to take into account. So I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America, some to U.S., probably some to Mexico as well."
MARIA BARTIROMO: "Oh, that's a good point, actually. Yeah, because these companies have to do something. They're going to have to have an alternative once they shut down things in China is what you're saying."
ROSS: "Absolutely. And you've already heard Apple talking about figuring out how to replace some of the Chinese production. You had others also doing the same thing. And so I think there's a confluence of factors that will make it very, very likely more re-shoring to the U.S., and some re-shoring to Mexico."

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