Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Don't fear the Chinese trade war

Everybody’s freaking out about a trade war with China. What’s the worst case scenario? That we no longer do business with China? That would be fine by me. China is on just about every group’s top 10 list of human rights violators, usually at the very top. It’s a brutal communist regime that’s killed tens of millions of people. An estimated 45 million died under Mao. Tens of millions of Chinese have been murdered since then.

The problem is most Americans don’t care. All they care about is how much that TV at Walmart costs or the price of their smartphone. I’ve often said if we could have a world mall where people went into each country’s store and could see through the glass into the back room how these products were manufactured they’d never buy Chinese again. They use so much slave and near-slave labor. And child labor. Yet nobody sees it, so nobody cares.

I care.

I’ve been on a mission for many years to reduce my consumption of Chinese goods. It’s almost impossible to keep from buying Chinese. I even wrote about in a chapter of one of my books. Where did the publisher choose to have the book printed? China! You can’t get away from it.

President Trump’s goal is not to end trade with China (although I wish it were). It’s to level the playing field. China’s been stealing from us for decades. No president before has had the gall to stand up to them. We’ve just rolled over while they stole our intellectual property. We turned a blind eye while they slapped tariffs on American goods to keep them from competing with Chinese goods in China. Trump has had enough.

I was reading a piece from CNBC about how Wall Street investment banks were preparing their clients for the worst. They act like China’s the only place on earth that some products can be made. That’s exactly what China’s led us to believe all these years. It’s just not true. If you think manufacturing everything in America is too expensive then consider Taiwan or South Korea. Sure, it may be more expensive than China, but they wouldn’t be using slave labor either.

Not that that matters to anyone.

Here’s the irony. We have all these dirt people who pay exorbitant prices at places like Whole Foods just because they think they’re saving the planet by buying from ‘sustainable’ sources. They don’t give a rat’s rump about slave labor in China. They lecture us about buying local. How local is that wide-screen TV you bought from China?

If you’re worried we’re too dependent on China you’re on the right track. I don’t look at this trade war with China as a problem. I look at it as an opportunity. Now’s the time to really start paying attention to what you’re buying. Check the labels. Start weaning yourself off cheap Chinese goods. Start worrying about the slaves who make your shoes rather than some fantasy of global warming.

And you wanna talk about pollution? China leads the world in real pollution. See all those people walking around Beijing with surgical masks on? It’s not because they’re trying to avoid CO2. It’s because they’re smothered in real pollution: smog. We stop buying from China and start buying from countries that actually care about clean air and clean water and we really help the environment.

You like clean air? You like clean water? You hate slave labor? You hate child labor? Then it’s time to use this trade war to our advantage. Stop buying Chinese products!

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

1 comment:

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