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Is nationalism bad for your health?



Is nationalism bad for your health?

In recent years, pressure has increased to isolate the US from any contact with the Chinese economy. The latest sector to be hit is healthcare, where there is a proposal to ban US drugmakers from outsourcing various tasks to Chinese companies. Here is The economist:

The knock-on effects for the Chinese companies’ American customers are also likely to be profound. Start with the contract manufacturer researchers. WuXi is to the big pharmaceutical industry what Foxconn, the Taiwanese assembler of iPhones, is to Apple: a high-end supplier charged with sensitive I p. Its customers include the twenty largest drug manufacturers in the world. Dozens of US pharmaceutical companies have informed investors that BIOSECURE If the bill passes, they may not be able to meet demand for their products or complete clinical trials on time. . . .

Jefferies, an investment bank, estimates that replacing Chinese capacity would take major Western pharmaceutical companies at least five years and almost certainly cost more. For biotech startups, who tend to rely on Chinese partners with proven results to save time and money on research and production, the BIOSECURE The bill could pose an existential threat. According to a survey conducted by BioCentury in March, a consultancy firm, biotech bosses and their investors expect a slowdown in drug development if this continues.

It’s difficult to evaluate arguments for “national security” because almost everything conceivable could have some kind of indirect connection to that amorphous concept. So does weakening China make war less likely because our opponent is less powerful? Or does it make war more likely because rich countries have more to lose from fighting?

One thing seems clear. The track record of nationalism is much less promising than that of internationalism.