China’s lockdown could have supply chain ‘ripple effect’

Coronavirus

(NewsNation) —  Residents of China’s manufacturing hubs are experiencing a strict lockdown under China’s “zero-COVID” strategy that aims to isolate every infected person.

Shanghai has been under anti-coronavirus controls that confined most of its 25 million people in their homes since March 28.

“Strict doesn’t even really begin to describe what a lockdown in Shanghai means,” NewsNation’s Leland Vittert said during an appearance on “Morning in America”. “It’s unfathomable by modern standards, the suffering that goes on in these cities that are being locked down.”

Residents of Shanghai are struggling to get meat, rice and other food supplies, fueling frustration as the government tries to contain a spreading outbreak. As a result, many of the city’s factories and stores have been shuttered.

The lockdowns in Shanghai and other parts of China are rattling global supply chains.

“The ripple effect of this just continues,” Vittert said. “Right now there’s 300-plus cargo ships just waiting outside of Shanghai to load goods to bring to America. That’s 300 ships of stuff that is going to be further and further delayed.”

The United States on Saturday advised its citizens to reconsider travel to China due to “arbitrary enforcement” of local laws and COVID-19 restrictions, particularly in Hong Kong, Jilin province and Shanghai. U.S. officials cited a risk of “parents and children being separated.”

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said in response that China was “strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to the U.S. side’s groundless accusation against China’s epidemic response.”

Conditions in Shanghai highlight the soaring human and economic cost of China’s “zero-COVID” strategy.

“Cruelty has been sort of a hallmark of the Chinese Communist Party for a long time,” Vittert said. “We’re just now seeing it when you see those empty streets and see the videos on Twitter.”

Shanghai’s lockdown impacts the global economy as Apple, Tesla, Volkswagen and several other factories in Shanghai have been shut down as a result.

Doing business with China may change as a result as well, however, according to Vittert, “Companies have been talking about bringing things back to the U.S. for two years. Still haven’t done it.”

China is a major hub in terms of providing supply to all global manufacturing sectors.

“There’s all sorts of stuff that just over the past few years we haven’t been able to build factories to make,” Vittert said. “And then the cheap drug that is Chinese goods is still something that most American companies are still very, very much addicted to.”

Companies like Tesla say they are increasing production at factories elsewhere to make up for the loss in China. But U.S. consumers can expect to see an increase in costs caused by delays and further supply chain disruptions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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