US in talks with India, other 'friends' to restructure supply chain: Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a press conference. (Source: @SecretaryPompeo)
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 coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic 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. The virus has impacted global supply chains with countries forced to impose strict travel and movement restrictions. 

Addressing a news conference 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 coronavirus patients, Pompeo said. Pompeo has spoken over the phone -- at least four times -- with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

Readout of the calls indicated that ensuring a global supply chain figured prominently in their conversations. Pompeo said the US government has provided over $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-19 in Burma, including among vulnerable populations, he said.

Referring to a recent report, Pompeo said Americans have devoted nearly $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.

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