U.S President Trump believes the coronavirus pandemic started in a Chinese laboratory, and he is likely correct. Strong evidence links the initial outbreak to infectious experiments conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The American intelligence community is expected to share conclusive findings to back up Trump’s claims.
Trump is threatening to impose additional tariffs on Chinese goods in response to the findings. And several EU nations may also move to decouple their economies from China in retaliation for the pandemic. But in a world that has become addicted to cheap Chinese labor and supply chains, punishing China will send financial markets into a tailspin and crash the stock market.
In late January, CCN.com was among the first outlets to report theories suggesting the coronavirus pandemic originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a level 4 biosafety lab in China. The lab is located 200 meters from the alleged epicenter of the pandemic and is known to have conducted unsafe tests with bat-borne coronaviruses.
Some experts initially suspected that the Wuhan coronavirus was a manmade disease, modified to be more lethal and virulent through weaponized HIV and Ebola insertions. But now, most scientists believe the virus is naturally-occurring, and those bizarre similarities with HIV and Ebola are just chance mutations.
Last week, the U.S intelligence community began investigating the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s role in the pandemic, citing increasing confidence that the lab may be the source of the pandemic due to a record of safety lapses at the facility. Chinese labs are known for their poor safety records.
The SARS coronavirus has leaked from Chinese labs on at least two occasions, with the most recent leak occurring at the Beijing Institute of Virology in 2004. Both times, the Chinese government allowed the virus to spread widely before taking serious actions.
Now, President Trump openly claims to have seen evidence linking the current pandemic to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. And although the intelligence community has not yet formally corroborated his claims, they will probably do so when their investigations are complete.
On Thursday, Trump announced plans to punish China for its role in the coronavirus pandemic by potentially slapping new tariffs on the country or canceling existing debt. Larry Kudlow, the White Houses’ economic adviser, further stated that China would be “held accountable” without going into details about what to expect in the coming weeks.
Tariffs are spooky for the stock market because many of America’s biggest companies, including Apple and Nike, maintain extensive supply chains in China. Others, such as Starbucks, Walmart, and McDonald’s, rely on China’s large consumer market to drive sales growth.
China tariffs will squeeze these companies’ margins at an already difficult time, leading to a ripple effect elsewhere in the economy. And when China retaliates with tariffs of its own, that will hurt export-reliant industries in the U.S. — further deepening the coronavirus recession.
U.S stocks have fallen sharply on the news of impending tariffs. And further declines may follow as the situation escalates.
The coronavirus pandemic is a global wakeup call on China’s negative influence on the rest of the world. And this might be the last opportunity to confront China’s repressive regime before it becomes too powerful to be stopped.
The CCP is incapable of functioning in the global community without twisting organizations like the UN and WHO to suit its corrupt goals. And its track record of corporate espionage and intellectual property theft threatens to undermine the foundations of free-market capitalism. While a harsh economic punishment against China will hurt the markets in the short-term, it might be a necessary step to free the world from an increasingly China-dominated global economy.
Several nations may soon take steps to decouple their economies from China. Japan earmarked $2.2 billion to help its companies relocate operations outside of China while the UK is reportedly reconsidering allowing Huawei to build its 5g infrastructure. In addition to mulling additional tariffs, the U.S wants to move its pharmaceutical manufacturing industry outside the communist regime.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.