Northwestern professor, business expert says coronavirus not just China's problem anymore

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The Center for Disease Control has issued warning that Americans need to prepare themselves for a coronavirus outbreak.

Individuals, families and households have been warned about the virus.

Professor Phillip Braun, from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, said businesses better get busy planning too.

“The U.S. will see reduced economic growth because of this virus,” he said. “Whether that leads to a recession or not is very difficult to say.”

Braun is considered an expert when it comes to international trade and china. Right now, China is the world’s second-largest economy in the world.

The stock market decline is all about the virus right now,” Braun said. “Individuals have to prepare themselves potentially to not work for a period of time, including schools being closed.”

And in business, Braun said it’s time to shift gears.

Moline-based John Deere brand is a top tractor maker in the U.S. Deere sells 15% of its tractors to China.

“Is the CDC going to make recommendations that business shut down? Will they do the same thing that occurred in China?” Braun said. “Business leaders have to be prepared for that.”

Chicago-based United Airlines has already stopped flights to and from China.

Automakers like BMW have signal its supply chain is affected by the virus.

“From a business perspective it’s a big wake up call to the multinational corporations that relied on China extensively as a base of production,” Braun said.

From factories and headquarters shutting down, Bruan said it’s not just China’s problem anymore.

“How are you going to take care of your employees?” he said. “At this point, it is a matter of planning.”

Walmart, Target and Apple are already aware and informing the public in some cases that their supply chain is down and there won’t be enough products on their shelves. Apple said profits as a result will be down too.


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