This article was written by Nathan Hitchen (’19) and published in Humanitas, a journal of the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at the Catholic University of America.
As we emerge unevenly from the ravages of a global pandemic, the new world upon us is summoning statesmanship for political economy in the national interest. 2020 was apocalyptic in the true sense of the word. The depth of our dependence on Chinese manufactures for everything from face masks, respirators, ventilators, to basic pharmaceuticals was revelatory. This emergency unveiled the gaunt figure of American industry. Yet, our industrial thinning-out was there for all to see during America’s decades-long, neoliberal diet of globalized supply chains, offshored manufacturing, and international trade based on economic comparative advantage and specialization.