Tennessee U.S. Senator-Elect Bill Hagerty (R) said Wednesday the coronavirus has awakened Americans to the threat of China and called for bringing manufacturing back to the United States, particularly for strategic resources the United States relies on.
“America and the world can thank China for the fact that we’re wearing masks, we’ve been locked down, and we’ve [lost] so many lives here in America and around the world,” he said in an interview with SiriusXM Breitbart News Tonight with host Breitbart News Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle.
“Make no mistake, they spread this virus around the world and they need to be held accountable,” he said, citing China locking down travel within the country from Wuhan, where the virus originated, but still allowing travel to America.
He said one byproduct of the coronavirus is that America is “awakened” to the threat China poses, and predicts that more Americans will want products “Made in America” and not products made in China. He said:
I think we’re going to work very hard to strengthen and fortify our supply chains and reduce our dependency on China because they don’t have our best interests at heart… We do not need to be reliant on them for antibiotics production, we’ve got great potential in my home state of Tennessee to address that.
We don’t need to be relying on them for our medical supplies and equipment. And we certainly do not need to be reliant on them for things that are strategic like our high technology, our military technology, things like rare earths, that are only often times only sourced today from China just because they’ve made their environmental so much more lax than the rest of the world.
It’s also become very very clear to Americans that China has ripped off intellectual property, you know, they’ve manufactured products that might look like the authentic product made here in America but they’re cheaper, they’re inferior, we don’t need to stand for them anymore.
I think Americans have taken a much more critical eye to what they’re buying and I think Americans clearly favor products produced here in America.
Hagerty, who served as President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Japan from 2017 to 2019, last week won his race for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee, to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN).
Hagerty said if former Vice President Joe Biden takes office in January, he would be concerned about his and his family’s close financial ties to China, revealed right before the 2020 presidential election and called on Trump supporters to help fund the president’s efforts, as well as the ongoing races for Georgia’s run-off elections for two U.S. Senate seats.
“I think that’s why you’ve got to maintain the firewall in the United States Senate, and that’s why we’ve got to continue to support President Trump in his effort [to make sure that] every legal vote is counted and that every illegal vote is not,” he said.
“We need to maintain sanctity of the ballot box and there have been so many last minute changes the use of these mail-out ballots had flooded the system completely, there have been so many irregularities…he’s got to have resources to fight this fight,” he said.
He said if Democrats were to win the two seats in Georgia, the Senate would be split between Democrats and Republicans by 50-50, which would allow Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) to chose the Senate leadership.
“That means Chuck Schumer would be controlling the agenda, that would be terrible for America,” he said.
“They want to pack the courts, they want to add DC and probably Puerto Rico as new states, they want to do away with the filibuster, they want to impose the Green New Deal on America, they want to reverse the 2017 tax act, and raise corporate taxes. personal taxes on everybody. This will be a disaster for America,” he said.
“The economy hangs in the balance, our national security hands in the balance, they’re talking about doing this Green New Deal, reentering the Paris Climate Accord…you heard Joe Biden…he’s going to transition us away from oil and gas…he’s going to make America now dependent again on other nations,” he added.
Hagerty said if America relies more on solar power and wind power, China would benefit.
“Well, guess who makes the wind turbines, well guess who makes the wind turbines, guess who makes the solar panels? It’s China. Here we go again. Joe Biden’s throwing us back in the lap of China,” he said.
“We can’t let this stand, and that’s why the Senate is so critical. We’re going to need a firewall to stand up again this. And heaven forbid if President Trump isn’t reelected, the Senate will be the last point of recourse against what is the most liberal, the most outrageously radical agenda that we’ve seen coming from the Democrats.”