Why avoid “made in China”?
We are boycotting Chinese goods for a few reasons including the human rights violations in China, disregard for trademark protection i.e. counterfeiting, and the country’s support of terrorism. While those are reasons enough for us, the dangers to one’s health and safety from hazardous products should be a concern to all. Don’t take our word for it – click on your area of concern to learn more.
First, a great short summary on Tibet and the Dalai Lama: www.nytimes.com/2008
There are numerous sites which outline the human rights record of the government of China. Here’s one: http://china.hrw.org/reports
This interesting article entitled “Earthquakes and the Mandate of Heaven” appeared in the Wall Street Journal:
Natural Disasters expose the Chinese Communists’ corruption
Terrorism and atrocities
For China’s influence in Sudan (where the atrocities in Darfur continue), read here: http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0625/p11s01-woaf.html?page=1
For info about China supporting Iran and its terrorist-backing regime, read here:
Counterfeiting aka Theft
We highly recommend you read this to learn how counterfeiting is just the beginning. To see how your purchasing behavior, especially in regard to “knock-offs”, funds terrorism, child slavery, etc., read:
For more on piracy, etc., you may find this interesting:
This article touches on motorcycle emissions in California from Chinese bikes: www.latimes.com
However, that is so minor when you consider what is happening to the rivers, lakes, forests, etc., in China. If you’re naive enough to think that doesn’t affect you, ever wonder where the air pollution in China winds up? As this article notes, “Much of the particulate pollution over Los Angeles originates in China.” http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/26/world/asia/26china.html
Product Recalls and Safety
One of the most worrisome involves the contamination of food (first pet food, then the human food supply):
Now, faulty tire valves are causing deaths – please have your tires checked:
Faulty tire valves in 30 million tires, referencing report by Consumer Reports
April 2009 addition – toxic fumes in thousands of American homes built since 2004:
Chinese drywall poses potential risks
November 2009 – lead in Children’s Art Easels prompts recall.
March 2012 – Consumer Reports article Appliance fires: Is your home safe? Millions of dishwashers, fridges, ranges, and more are on recall lists says “The safety concerns arise as more appliances, or their components, are manufactured abroad. Almost four of every five recalls in our tally involved products made outside of the U.S., with the majority coming from China.”
October 2012 – US government warns consumers about counterfeit replacement airbags from China that either did not inflate or shot flames: US issues warning on counterfeit airbags
For info on Chinese product recalls (which have included toothpaste), due to health concerns:
or this article regarding the recall impacting the Boy Scouts:
October 2014 – “Shelby Township Fire Chief Jim Swinkowski said it’s not always a good idea to buy the cheapest model because it may not be as safe. “If you’re using a power strip, make sure they are (Underwriters Laboratories) approved and they’re not made in China,” he said. “We’re seeing more and more products that (don’t) have the proper UL stamp on them. They’re made in China, and those are the ones that are causing the biggest issue.””
What Can One Do?
You may be thinking to yourself – that boycott is impossible – everything is made in China. Yes, a lot of items are, but it is possible to fight the good fight. We’ve been avoiding Chinese goods for several years now (including during registering for our wedding). We have found that sometimes when it seems we can only find Chinese versions of a product that after a long journey, we end up with incredible products which we never would have found if not for our boycott. Two of our hardest items to find were a new phone and a briefcase. Our Panasonic cordless works great and was not made in China. And one of Ken’s favorite purchases of all time is a Trager briefcase (made in the USA).
Some Chinese manufacturers are trying to disguise where their products are made. If it says “made in Hong Kong”, that is still China. If it has an American flag on the product, look closely – it may still be made in China.
For an entertaining musical look at one part of the issue, check out:
Jib Jab’s Big Box Mart
For all of these reasons (terrorism, human rights violations, counterfeiting, etc.), please join us in our boycott of goods made in China. It isn’t easy and it takes work to find goods not made in China, but it is worth the time and effort. Click here for our attempt at making it a little easier. Feel free to pass a link to either of these pages along to others.
P.S. to manufacturers: According to a USA Today/Gallup poll (10/07), “82% of Americans would be willing to pay up to twice as much for U.S. manufactured toys as for less expensive toys made in China.”