Forming a Buy >From Free Countries Coalition

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryOne of the issues I still have with corporations are their willingness to have their products made in China. Everything from toys to electronics to clothes to deodorants to even our furniture are still being made in China and can be too readily found in our stores. I would have hoped that the Covid pandemic would have broken our reliance from China on a whole list of things, but apparently not. And it speaks volumes about those parts of corporate America still willing to trade their souls for having products made in China. True, there are less products being made in China compared to five years ago, and nowadays a growing number of companies, especially advertising on the internet, are telling customers where their products are being made. However, there is no federal law that requires companies to tell where their products are made other than the labeling in the actual packages (even then, sometimes companies try to skirt this requirement by labeling their products as made in the PRC. They do not mention that this is the abbreviation for the People’s Republic of China. It gets around the legal requirement for identifying a product’s country of origin).

What it does is not inform the consumer of where their products are made, and the corporations do not want to do this. It is by design. If the consumer does not know where the product is made, then by the time someone buys it (usually online), it is too late to return the item. Likewise, consumers are not informed how products from China or other countries that are not free are made. Are these products made by slave labor? What conditions do these laborers work in? How much are they paid? Are the products up to quality? The corporations will not inform the consumer about any of this, nor tell them if the products are made with slave labor. The U.S. government made it law to ban all cotton products from China made with slave labor in Xinjiang, but sadly America is not too good about banning so many other made in China products that might use slave labor. China may be the worst culprit in this endeavor, but it is far from being the only one. Countries like Pakistan, Cambodia, Nicaragua, and Laos (all countries friendly to China by the way) do much the same thing.

Under these circumstances, there should be either laws passed or a consumer coalition put together which urges store chains and online buyers to emphasize products made in the USA. This will help not only to provide the average consumer better made products created with free labor but also to provide American laborers with the revenue they need to keep making these products. Where there are products not made in the United States, countries either friendly to the United States or countries with high standards of manufacture should also be considered. I am thinking about countries like Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Canada, etc. Their products should also be listed and the country of origin or those countries friendly to the United States should be stated. No, most corporations would not go for this, but we should be thinking about what products we as a people should be buying to not only help American-based manufacturers but those from countries friendly to the United States be given priority. Over 50 years ago we did this, so why can we not do this again?

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