For the United States being an independent country, we are considerably dependent on China. We continue to purchase products from the Chinese that are often times defective and even deadly. We choose to buy their poorly-made products instead of our safer and better quality U.S.-made products. The reason our country decides to do this is because China sells its fare cheaper than we can, and we buy into it.
China has continually dropped prices on its products in order to dominate the global market, such as under-cutting the price of vitamin C to one third of the global rate, says Richard Knox, a reporter for National Public Radio. Other economic and product problems involving China have arisen recently.
Since May of 2007, there have been several accounts of defective products coming from China. Toothpaste, pet food, children’s toys, and cough syrup are some of the few products that have reached our shores.
According to the Food and Drug Administration‘s website fda.gov, in April of 2007 the United States blocked 257 food shipments from China. We block twice as many shipments from China as all the other countries we get imports from combined. Knox reports that experts say that “the problems are a consequence of globalization, and especially on America’s growing dependence on China for food ingredients.” The average person in the United States ingests 260 pounds of imported food per year, including processed, ready-to-eat products, and single ingredients, which consists of 13 percent of their annual diet, reports Carl Nielsen, former Director for the FDA’s Import Operations.
There are 350,000 food firms all over the world that export to the United States, and according to Nielsen, the FDA only inspects 100 food imports. In other words, the food imported to the United States, less than one percent of it is inspected.
One could say that the reason why the FDA does so little inspections on the home front is because global field workers inspect where the food is grown. However, Nielsen states that in the past fifteen years, only 1,000 field inspections have been done in China. When the FDA does inspect products, it does not and cannot inspect everything. Melamine has shown up in Chinese-imported dog food and other products, resulting in the deaths of many pets, getting past the FDA‘s minimal inspections.
Our purchases of China’s cheaper products have caused the closure of several U.S. factories. The New York Times’ editorial “Tired Protectionism” reports that since 2006, four US tire factories have shut down because China’s tire exports to the United States tripled between 2004 and 2008.
As an alternative to help our economy instead of China’s, people across the country have been refusing to buy Chinese-made products. Buying food at the farmer’s market and paying a little extra seems like a hassle, but it has its advantages.
Buying locally grown, seasonal food helps national farmers and general health. China has been selling our country low-quality goods that we continue to buy that aids its economy and depletes our own.
Buying local and nationally-made products whenever possible will help our economy and individual spending habits.