Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Minxin Pei

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As a result of centuries of globalization, supply chains networks have stretched far and wide, and are pivotal to the functioning of the global political economy. Yet, the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic has exposed supply chain fragilities in personal protective equipment (PPE). This paper focuses on how and why this is the case. Understanding that China’s competitive currency, labor policies, state support, and scale production make her a key player, PPE shortages first emerged when internal Chinese demand mushroomed. That being said, domestic PPE inventories in the U.S. had already been at critical lows, and were exacerbated by a lack in supply chain diversity as a result of privatization, which favored multinational monopolies. The lethal blow to PPE shortages was the lack of policy coordination - the Trump administration had failed, on both a domestic and international level, in its response to the pandemic.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.