Commerce Secretary Says Coronavirus May Help 'Accelerate Return of Jobs'


While world leaders take action to prevent and contain the spread of the coronavirus in China, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross says the outbreak may have an unexpected impact on the economy.

In an interview on Fox Business, Ross said he doesn’t want to “talk about a victory lap” but added that the coronavirus could speed up the return of jobs to North America.

“The fact is, it does give businesses yet another thing to consider when they go through their review of their supply chain,” Ross said. 

“On top of all the other things, you had SARS. You have the African swine virus there. Now you have this. It’s another risk factor that people have to take into account,” he added.

Ross continued:

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“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.”

Watch the interview below:

His comments come as Chinese officials announced that 170 people have died after contracting the coronavirus. Additionally, officials in China now say that over 8,000 people have been infected with the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is scheduled to meet on Thursday to debate whether or not to label the outbreak a public health emergency. 

In the United States, President Donald Trump has been criticized by 2020 Democratic presidential contenders who said he has taken steps that have weakened America’s ability to contain and prevent infectious diseases, as IJR previously reported.

On Wednesday, the White House announced the creation of a task force to monitor the epidemic in China. 

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said that the threat of a coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. is low:

“The risk of infection for Americans remains low, and all agencies are working aggressively to monitor this continuously evolving situation and to keep the public informed.”

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday officials are looking at 165 possible cases of coronavirus across more than two dozen states, but added that so far there are only five confirmed cases.

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