The US is in talks with its “friends”, including India, for restructuring the global supply chains, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said, as he praised New Delhi for lifting the export ban on critical medical supplies to combat the global coronavirus pandemic.
The novel coronavirus has infected over 3,193,960 people and claimed more than 227,640 lives across the globe. The US is the worst-hit with 1,039,909 cases and 60,967 deaths — the highest in the world.
Addressing a news conference here on Wednesday, Pompeo said, “We’re working with our friends in Australia, India and Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, and Vietnam to share information and best practices as we begin to move the global economy forward.”
“Our conversation certainly involved global supply chains, keeping them running smoothly, getting our economies back to full strength and thinking about how we restructure the supply change chains to prevent something like this from ever happening again,” he said.
“One example of our work together is with India. It has lifted export bans on critical medical supplies, including pharmaceuticals, used to treat some COVID-19 patients, Pompeo said.
Over the last few weeks, Pompeo has spoken over phone — at least four times — with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
Readout of the calls indicated that ensuring global supply chain figured prominently in their conversations.
Pompeo said the US government has provided over USD 32 million in funding to support the COVID-19 response in Pacific island countries.
“We’re working with the Burmese government, the United Nations, NGOs, and others to prevent the spread of COVID-19in Burma, including among vulnerable populations, he said.
Referring to a recent report, Pompeo said Americans have devoted nearly USD 6.5 billion in government and non-government contributions to help countries fight COVID-19.
This is by far the largest country total in the world and more than 12 times that of China’s combined contributions, he said.