I suspect most people are like me. They don’t want to subsidize brutal dictatorships like China. Whenever I shop, I try to avoid buying products made in either China’s sweatshops or its high-tech factories.
Yes, it sometimes costs more to buy non-Chinese products. But, when we buy Chinese, we also pay a heavy price.
When we buy a Chinese-made product or service, every dollar we send back to China could possibly feed its brutal, despotic government. It feeds China’s messianic foreign expansion in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. It further expands China’s rapidly growing army, navy, air force, and space program. It feeds Chinese concentration camps. It encourages China’s rampant theft of Western intellectual property. It rewards China’s daily hacking of Western infrastructure as well as government and private databases. It pays for the Communist government’s tyranny over its 1.4 billion people.
We have thousands of deeply moral and strategic reasons to stop purchasing anything produced in China.
But the difficulty of figuring out how to avoid Chinese products poses problems.
Since 1930, the United States has had mandatory Country of Origin Label (COOL) requirements for foreign-produced food products. And, with dozens of exceptions, sundry manufactured products imported into the United States must also list the country of origin.
But there is an enormous loophole in U.S. import policy! In particular, online retailers in America do not have to list the country of origin of the products they sell.
Since tens of millions of Americans now shop online, these shoppers don’t have the opportunity to look at labels or package covers to see where a product is made. I run into this problem almost every time I shop online. I buy a product, and I see where it was made only when it is delivered.
We need to plug this gaping loophole and fast.
Both the President and Congress should act. Congress should pass a law that requires online sellers, particularly the larger ones like Amazon, Walmart, Macy’s, and Target, to identify prominently the country of origin of the products they sell. Adding a large-print three-word label “Made in China” to each Chinese product sold online would be easy and extremely inexpensive. Let’s do it! And let each American consumer decide.
China is a great country with a long history as an impressive civilization. But it has been taken over by a brutal Communist leadership.
Until those leaders are replaced by a more open regime, shoppers in the West should avoid buying Chinese products and subsidizing China’s aggressive, autocratic system.
James S. Fay is a semi-retired California attorney, political scientist, and college administrator. His articles have appeared in social science and law journals and the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, and Real Clear Education. In addition, he has published articles on the Helsinki Accords, presidential emergency powers, and NATO funding. He served as an intelligence officer in the U. S. Army, 3rd Armored Division.