“Decoupling” is the new buzzword these days when it comes to sanctioning communist China for its bad behavior. The argument behind it is that the West should no longer rely so much upon China’s manufacturing base for essential products and processes but instead work to reduce, even eliminate, China’s place in global supply chains.
There are obvious candidates for decoupling. Textiles, of course (sorry, no more 12-packs of tube socks for $5.99), but also televisions, smartphones, any kind of consumer product (from toasters to extension cords), integrated circuits, microelectronic assemblies, computers—the list is endless.
Not every kind of decoupling is a good idea, or at least one that should be implemented quickly. Removing China from the global supply chain is risky in the short run, to say the least, although it could pay huge benefits over time. Reestablishing assembly lines in the West is a smart move if it can be done cheaply, but it will take time and planning….