Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Time to Ban Chinese Products?

In what seems to be a daily happening, there has been another major safety warning issued for a product made in China. As of this writing, there hasn't been a recall on the product. The new recall involves vinyl baby bibs that have been found to contain three times the amount of lead that is allowed in paint. While there hasn't been a true recall, parents have been warned that if they have these bibs and they are damaged or torn, they should be thrown away.

This "non-recall" comes on the heel of a number of other recent recalls on items and products from China. Recently an assortment of toys have been recalled because of the lead in their paint and toothpaste and dog food have been recalled because of toxic ingredients that have been found in them. Whether this list of recalls is directly because of the Chinese government or not, the government does have its share of blame in this. Just as our government passes standards for products made in the U.S.A, the Chinese government has a responsibility to provide an assurance that the products from it's country won't kill consumers in other countries.

When the recalls started, many news agencies wrote of the "open secret" in China. It seems it was well known that certain industries were replacing ingredients with ingredients that could hurt the consumer. While I have never been to China, if this is true, then the Chinese government is as much at fault as those businesses that made the products that are now being recalled.

It is time to discuss a possible ban on Chinese imports. A government's role is to protect its constituents first and foremost. It is time for the United States to consider what it needs to do to guarantee citizens can buy products without fear they may kill them. China has been preparing itself for an eventual war with the United States for some time. Many argue that China has already started this war on the economic front. It was a travesty for the United Nations to award this communist nation with an Olympics. We shouldn't be worried about hurting the feelings of the Chinese regime. We should be concerned with the well being of our citizens. If China can't promise their products are safe, maybe the United States should ensure no one here will die from those same products.


familyman said...

I think you need to place some of the blame on the U.S. companies that value nothing but the bottom line and as a consequence take their manufacturing business out of the U.S. and give it to countries like China who will do it as cheaply as possible. And I think a little of the blame has to go to the U.S. consumers who don't care where it's made as long as it's a couple cents cheaper.

Brandon said...

Andy: We can't ban their products without getting into a protracted trade war via the WTO, which we would lose. Instead, what we could do is quietly tell the PRC that unless the quality of their goods goes up within six months, we will take them to the WTO and charge that they've violated the WTO's prohibition against steel subsidies. They would stand to lose much more when they lose that case than they would by shooting a few mid-level bureaucrats to inspire their inspectors to not take so many bribes.

I'll agree with you that we are locked in a form of economic warfare with the PRC, but they've taken a page out of our economic history book and are doing their best to faithfully recreate history. We helped undermine the British industrial machine with our cheap, quality goods, only His Majesty's Royal Navy kept the British Empire afloat for approximately another century.

Andy D said...

Familyman: U.S. Businesses (as any other businesses) are in business for one thing and one thing only: to make a profit. They have a set of rules that they have to play buy, and they have to make business decisions based on those rules. One of them is that they must pay taxes. Our tax system is so messed up that it drives some businesses out of the United States. That is a whole separate issue but one that does need to be addressed.

Brandon: I like your idea. I think whatever route we decide on, we must start taking action against China. Your idea of working through the WTO sounds like a giid starting point.

familyman said...

Cheaper is not always better. And a cheaper product will not always lead to the best bottom line. That's what many companies seem to have forgotten.

Andy D said...

In many cases you pay for what you get. I think some of us may need to do a little bit more homework and see if the items we are buying come from China or not.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm afraid any action by the US against the Chinese is actually likely to destroy the US economy for good.

The dollar is already at record lows and the Chinese hold over a trillian dollars worth of US dollar assets. Assets they've threatened to liquidate if sanctions are issued against China. America is powerless.

This makes scary reading for the US:

familyman said...

Andy, you've got me agreeing with you again.

And the article Mr. President linked to is indeed very scary. Looks like the time to pay the piper is drawing near.

The U.S. has dug this hole itself with year after year of deficit spending and by failing to keep manufacturing industries in this country.

If China does what it's threatening to do, things are going to be pretty tough around here. But maybe it's the slap in the face we need.

Anonymous said...


As a Scotsman we were proud to buy American products robust good value and all round perfect products, as a European we agree that china products should be banned stop buying from these commie scum Scotland has stopped alot of made in china products due to the death of young children with defective products and lead paints etc

we can all get our economys back on track and help our unemployed by banning china products

ankit said...

i read all u'r posts and i too agree with 'BANNING OF CHINESE SETS'..