By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) The administration’s top trade adviser and negotiator had a stark warning for brokers who are currently hoarding supplies so they can charge Americans more for them during the coronavirus outbreak.
‘You’re not going to like the government’s response.’
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During a press conference on Sunday, Navarro spoke directly to these brokers and sent a very clear message to them.
“I also get a lot of calls that are very disquieting. Brokers are offering millions of items, whether they are goggles, masks, or whatever, and you go through three different brokers, tracing to a warehouse in [Los Angeles] that’s allegedly got ten million masks and they want to charge you seven times what they cost,” Navarro said. “That’s price gouging.”
“A message to the hoarders: If you’ve got any large quantities of materials that this country needs right now, get them to market or get them to us, we’ll pay you a fair price,” Navarro said.
“But if you don’t do that, we’re going to come for you and make sure that doesn’t happen in this country.”
As Breitbart News reported:
Most recently, a pair of brothers in Tennessee donated 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer that they had been allegedly hoarding, along with masks and cleansing wipes, in an attempt to price gouge Americans. The brothers are now under investigation.
Time added that complaints of price gouging have surged across the country over the past few days:
Across a country where lines are long, some shelves are empty and patience is thin, authorities are receiving a surge of reports about merchants trying to cash in on the coronavirus crisis with outrageous prices, phony cures and other scams. An Associated Press survey of attorneys general or consumer protection agencies nationwide found reports already exceeded 5,000, with hundreds more arriving daily.
AP’s 50-state survey is the most comprehensive look so far at the emerging problem. In all, 41 states responded with numbers that included both tips and formally filed complaints against mom-and-pop stores and big-box retailers alike. AP’s count is certainly low also because it only includes cases in which someone went online or called to register a grievance. Many others went to the court of social media to vent their outrage.
“Greed is a powerful motivator for some people,” said Josh Stein, the attorney general of North Carolina, where the number of reports jumped from 72 to 131 one day earlier this week. “It is inexcusable to prey on people in a vulnerable time to make a quick buck.”
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