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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."

Go deeper: U.S. warned to prepare for worst on coronavirus

Go deeper

DOJ cites discrimination in lawsuit against Texas over voting districts

Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers remarks at the 2021 Tribal Nations Summit at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Nov. 15, 2021. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas, alleging Republican state lawmakers discriminated against Black and Latino voters and "again.. diluted the voting strength of minority Texans" when they approved new redistricting maps.

Why it matters: A DOJ assessment of the new districts found that they violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference.

2 hours ago - World

Biden to warn Putin U.S. will add troops in Eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine

Putin meets Biden in Geneva. Photo: Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin when they speak on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. is prepared to increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank," a senior administration official told reporters.

Why it matters: The administration believes it's increasingly likely that Putin will order an invasion.

2 hours ago - World

U.S. announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

An Olympic-themed sculpture in Beijing on Dec. 1. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. announced Monday that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Why it matters: The diplomatic boycott — which won't prevent American athletes from competing — marks a major escalation between the U.S. and China amid already heightened tensions over the CCP's treatment of Muslim minorities, military threats to Taiwan and economic tariffs.