Thursday, June 14, 2007

Big Trouble in Big China

There is big trouble for us brewing in China. NAFTA not only opened the door for Americans to lose their livelihoods, it also open the borders to global trade without tariff in ways it had never been done before.

Started by Ronald Reagan, and bolstered through George H.W. Bush tenure; it was made law by Bill Clinton. Michael Waldman had a chapter dedicated to NAFTA in his book POTUS Speaks. NAFTA has so much political momentum behind it that the slogan at the White House was, “NAFTA Cuse We Hafta.”

The Capital Press had an article last week about how Chinese plywood is ruining the American plywood business. The American companies by lumber from sustainable forests adhering to environmental guidelines, and their product is made in compliance with safety standards, where the less expensive Chinese product may come from trees that were cut without regard to the environment and the binding glue that is used is a toxic substance.

In 2002 Chinese honey was banned in the United States because it tested positive for chloramphenicol. There are approved antibiotics for use in bee colonies, but chloramphenicol is a last resort medication that is used when nothing else will work. If bacteria in humans develop a resistance to the strongest drug out there, these human can be taken to their death by a simple infection.

Fresh is everyone’s minds is the recent pet food contamination where the Chinese grain traders spiked products with the chemical melamine so that they would appear, in tests, to have more value as protein products. This contamination killed hundreds of pets through out the Untied States.

I had been working on this article on Wednesday when Jim Hightower came on the radio with speaking on this very same subject, and I quote:
“Food fifth is back with a vengeance: scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria; prunes with chemical dyes not fit for human consumption; frozen shrimp preserved with a cancer-causing agent.’
“These stomach-turning (and deadly) foodstuffs are not products from American processing factories – but from China. With the likes of Wal-Mart scouring the world for the cheapest possible products it can find, China is the fastest-growing source of U.S. food imports, flooding our markets with products unfit to eat. "Low-priced" food, you see, can come at a horrendously high cost.”

Not only the food bad, but we also need to beware of the lead based jewelry. Children’s toys are often made with lead and painted with lead paint.

Aside from the poisonous foods and toxic materials they are shipping to us for consumption, their civil and employee rights are non existent. China is a nation of low paid slaves and every time we purchase something that was made in China we are saying it is OK.

What will it take to get people to stop buying Chinese products? How many people could have been killed had the melamine made its way into human food chain? Is that what it will take? Do they have to kill off a couple thousand Americans before the government throws out another 9-1-1 style defense against this enemy? We are closing the borders, yet the market for Chinese foods and products remain open in the name of free trade.


Blogger Beth said...

Scary stuff.
I've been reading labels since the pet food contamination.

7:15 AM  
Blogger benjibopper said...

free trade has been even harder on poorer countries.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous walter richards said...

That's the problem with buying goods from any country. You have to trust that their "quality control" is "up to snuff". Too bad some sort of "quality control" check can't be done on imported goods, before they hit the market.

As to what workers are paid in other countries ... I say they can do the same thing workers here did. Unionize. Organize for better pay and working conditions. IF they want to. But it's not our business to force it on them.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous thartill said...

Good post Guy.

What pisses me off is the NAFTA CAFTA etc. have nothing to do with Free Trade.

A free trade agreement would be a few paragraphs long, where worker rights and environmental issues would be laid out on paper. That's it!

NAFTA is something like 700 pages long!

8:33 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

TH, agreed. What I was gettin at is the US involvement for leveling the playing field on all fronts, which hurts us in the pockets, as well as endangers our health.

Walt, Unions are hard to start if you can't afford to be self sufficient and live off the land while your point is being driven home. Many of the people in these countries have lost the ability to survive on their own.

Benji, welcome to the blog, good to hear from you. Yes it ups the stakes for the poorer countries making a larger gap between the haves and the have nots.

Beth are you seeing a lot of Chinese products as you look?

9:41 AM  
Anonymous walter richards said...

Unions are hard to start if you can't afford to be self sufficient and live off the land while your point is being driven home.

Only if one is thinking in terms of the "peaceful" union organizing that happens in our country now.

I was thinking more in terms of the original, more violent, organizing of the earlier union history. Most Americans at the time weren't self-sufficient, either.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Did ya mention that we're selling our Iraq war debt to China in the form of bonds? They're buying real estate as well, and they're not alone. Now there's a renewed push to sell off a big hunk of our highway systems to foreign investors. The politicos and Big Biz are selling us off like a fire sale to cover their excessive spending. grrrrrr

1:08 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Ahhh, Walt. There is nothing like a good up-rising...

We will one day get our eviction notices. Remember there are millions of us and billions of them.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

From all of the analysis I have been hearing, the next BIG world event will happen SOON in IRAN.
Israel is going to absolutly vaporize the Hitler of Iran's nucliear ambitions.
It's eather that, or be vaporized.
Get ready. We may be in for some more good-good fun.
Do you have your house in order?
Don't be just another one of the masses.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Tom Jefferson said...

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

Excellent article, Guy. I only scratched the surface with a pet food article weeks ago, but have been hearing more and more about the horrible things the Chinese are putting into our human food supply.

What better reason to buy locally than self-preservation. The government doesn't have to do a thing if we just stop buying Chinese products.

10:14 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Mo3, I'm sure the pet food packages never tell you the grains used in making the products came from China. I'm pretty sure that Purina uses all domestic grains in their products.

5:26 AM  
Anonymous Bayou said...

I knew someone would eventually bring all of this together in an intelligent manner and I'm not surprised for it to be you, Guy.

I have wanted to write on this subject as well but it might get me dooce'd.

I work for a food importer and most of the products come from China, as well as Indonesia, Thailand, Peru and other countries where cheap goods are a'plenty. Chances are if you eat anything out of a can, it isn't domestic product. It has made me very aware of what I'm putting into my body... and who's pocket my money is going into as well.

6:38 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Bayou, thanks for the compliment. It is always best to do your homework and buy local.

BTW if you ever want to ghost write an article for publication here I'd be happy to run it. I'll mention that it was written by someone else but not name you specifically if you fear retrobution.

6:13 AM  

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