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    Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    Boycott China 1

    Yesterday in my post on Chinese Toys, I broached the idea of boycotting Chinese-made goods. Today, I go to CNN.com and immediately see this:
    NEW YORK (AP) - Less than two weeks after Mattel Inc. (NYSE:MAT) recalled 1.5 million Chinese-made toys because of lead paint, the toy industry is bracing for another blow that could give parents more reason to rethink their purchases just before the critical holiday shopping season.

    Mattel is set to announce the recall of another toy involving a different Chinese supplier as early as Tuesday, according to three people close to the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.


    Later in the day the news was confirmed:
    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Mattel Inc. Tuesday recalled more than 9 million toys made in China, including "Polly Pocket" and "Batman" dolls and other popular figures, because of loose magnets and lead paint - its second major recall in less than a month.
    because...(drum roll please)...

    The move, announced by the company and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), comes after a host of other Chinese products, from seafood and pet food to tires and toothpaste, have been recalled for safety reasons in recent months.
    There are two reason FOR boycotting Chinese goods, and I'm sure many reasons NOT to boycott them. The two "pros" that come to mind immediately are:
    1. reducing American dependence on Chinese manufacturing and its economy

    2. taking a stand on the numerous and egregious human rights violations perpetrated by the communist government

    I believe that Americans would also rather ... "be safe than sorry"
    Now, Chinese human rights violations are nothing new, ranging from Tibet to beijing factory workers to Tiennamen Square. I will elaborate on this point later. American economic independence was, admittedly, not my first thought, but it was brought up eloquently by my wife. Here is the email exchange (edited a little for grammar and length because, lets face it, nobody writes with proper grammar when emailing):

    From: The Bleeding Ear
    Sent: Today
    To: The Wife
    Subject: Boycott China?

    The more I hear, the more I think that the only way to get China to shape up (and America to not be so dependent on one country) is to boycott Chinese-made goods. Teach these American companies to police themselves, or they're going to close shop.

    Here's the NEW news about chinese toys.

    http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/newstex/AFX-0013-18873781.htm?cnn=yes

    love you,

    Anh

    From: The Wife
    To: The Bleeding Ear
    Date: today
    Subject: RE: Boycott China?

    Americans need to boycott Chinese goods. ... We need ... [to] come home and support local businesses. If American companies opened their factories here, they would be able to find laborers. Perhaps, the labor here is not quite as cheap as it is in China, but I believe that Americans would also rather pay a little more and "be safe than sorry".

    I think it's rather "funny" that in Vietnam, [the] Vietnamese [will] not buy goods that are "Made in China", [but] they [will] hunt for anything that has ... American tags on it. Perhaps the Vietnamese know their neighbor too well!

    On the contrary, we Americans have to use everything with the tags "Product of China" because we do not have a choice. Everything in America is made in China. As China strives to overcome the U.S, to be the strongest economy in the world, their economy relies [mostly] on our [wealth], but in reverse, our economy also relies a lot on them. It's simply a 2 way street.

    So, there are three main solutions to this problem: 1). Americans need to support domestic goods; 2). American companies need to pull out of China (because it does not matter how hard they try to enforce their product standards, Chinese will always find a way to cheat the system. ... 3). Like ever, the U.S. government must do a better job inspecting imported goods (you can find more facts about this on CNN.com).

    ...
    Love,

    The Wife
    I would add that the "2 way street" mentioned in the email is "2" lopsided. Americans depend heavily on Chinese goods, but China depends largely on American money. If there were a "falling out" between the two countries (or--heaven forbid--a war), this situation might hurt China in the world markets in the short term, but I postulate China would be relatively self-sufficient in staple goods while America would be crippled.

    Chinese products ... have been recalled for safety reasons in recent months

    Also, it interests me greatly that Vietnam, China's southern neighbor, doesn't rely as heavily on Chinese goods as America does. I think we can definitely learn something from that. Vietnam has thousands of years more experience dealing with the Chinese than we do.

    Ultimatly, though, how could we affect such a boycott? What must we do to achieve more economic independence and better quality goods?

    [+/-] read/hide the rest of this post

    2 comments:

    Joel said...

    For Immediate Release For More Information Contact
    November 13, 2007 Joel Joseph (310) 922-1856

    Made in the USA Foundation Launches American Toy Website
    The Made in the USA Foundation has partnered with BondRewards to establish a website for consumers to buy American-made toys for Christmas. The new site is www.onlyustoys.com. It can also be accessed at www.bondrewards.com.
    With more than 20 million Chinese toys taken off the shelves for safety and health problems, the Foundation believes that now is the time to promote good old American quality-made toys. The Foundation, a non-profit organization, was formed in 1989 to promote U.S.-made products in the United States and overseas.
    The Foundation has partnered with BondRewards to promote the sales of Toys Made in the USA because BondRewards is America’s Reward Program. Members of BondRewards receive US Savings Bonds as their reward for shopping online. Joel D. Joseph, Chairman of the Made in the USA Foundation said, “The synergies of our missions, to help Americans save and America prosper, made our partnership an easy decision.”
    Joseph said, “The website now offers more than 2,000 high-quality, safe, American-made toys. Unfortunately, most of these toys are not available at retail stores. We will add thousands of American-made toys to the site during the next 30 days.”
    The Foundation is providing a certification that all of the toys on the website are actually Made in the USA. The Foundation is conducting inspections of factories so that consumers can have a high level of confidence that the toys sold on the site are genuinely made in America.

    “We are thrilled by our partnership with Made In the USA Foundation where American consumers are assured that the products they purchase are certified by the Made in the USA Foundation and also receive U.S. Savings Bonds for their spending.” Chaz Berman Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
    The Made in the USA Foundation was formed in 1989. It is dedicated to promoting American-made products in the United States and overseas. The Foundation successfully pushed Congress to pass the American Automobile Labeling Act and the Country of Origin Labeling Act, that requires country of origin labeling of food products.
    UCB Network, Inc, headquartered in San Francisco, California, is an innovative media and direct marketing company. UCB Network’s flagship service BondRewards® is an online rewards program for American consumers. BondRewards is an unique reward site that offers you points that are redeemed for real U.S. Savings Bonds when consumers shop at affiliated stores. Every time a shopper reaches 50 BondRewards, he or she can redeem them for a $50 Series EE U.S. Savings Bond. This is a great deal that helps the United States in two ways: promoting the sale of U.S.-made products and encouraging savings.
    A percentage of every purchase of Toys Made in the USA goes as a donation to the Made in the USA Foundation to continue its work of providing valuable information to consumers and Congress.

    Triet said...

    Thanks! I would encourage everyone, this holiday season, to support manufacturers that do not use plants in China, and more specifically, have proven good track records of not selling poisonous, dangerous, toys, or using child labor.

    All it takes is a second to look on the package. I've found over the last couple months that not everything is made in China!