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Would You Go to Tough Lengths to Boycott Chinese Goods?

Considering the intimate economic ties many countries have with China, boycotting the Beijing Olympics to protest human rights violations seems like an incomplete and insincere gesture. Yet, some individuals are attempting to resist China on their own by boycotting products made in China. These conscious consumers are finding it nearly impossible to not buy China.

China dominates the manufacturing market. BBC writes:

Listening to your iPod. Made in China. Fiddling with your key ring. Made in China. Label on the inside of your underpants irritating you a little bit. It more than likely says "Made in China."

Even if you want to buy a TV "made" — aka assembled — in Europe, most of its parts probably come from China. And if you can find the goods, your guilt-free conscious isn't going to be free . . . or cheap.

Is a consumer's hands tied when big businesses and governments decide to do lucrative business with China? Is it a luxury to make a political statement with your purchasing power?

Source

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onabanana onabanana 8 years
China is really not going to care if we boycott their products. there's 1.3 billion people in China at some point China's going to sell products to them and not care what the West thinks. No country is perfect but some try harder than others to respect individual freedoms and basic rule of law. People have a right to boycott the Olympics for what ever reason they want to good for them in believing in something. And the Chinese government should stop going around and telling people to not make the Olympics political. Every Olympics get political and the Chinese government made it political in the first place by using it as a PR stunt.
onabanana onabanana 8 years
China is really not going to care if we boycott their products. there's 1.3 billion people in China at some point China's going to sell products to them and not care what the West thinks. No country is perfect but some try harder than others to respect individual freedoms and basic rule of law. People have a right to boycott the Olympics for what ever reason they want to good for them in believing in something. And the Chinese government should stop going around and telling people to not make the Olympics political. Every Olympics get political and the Chinese government made it political in the first place by using it as a PR stunt.
flowergirl flowergirl 8 years
I agree with the "No country is perfect" argument. It's easy to put down China & "Made in China" products, but doing so doesn't solve any problems. The only thing boycotting the Olympics and/or Chinese products will accomplish is it will further alienate China from the rest of the world. We need to build a global community, not reinforce divisions across borders.If you're going to boycott a country's products because of human rights violation records, then you should be consistent and boycott the products of ANY country that violates human rights. Including the US. If you can't be true to your principles, what are you really fighting against? Don't be ignorant.
flowergirl flowergirl 8 years
I agree with the "No country is perfect" argument. It's easy to put down China & "Made in China" products, but doing so doesn't solve any problems. The only thing boycotting the Olympics and/or Chinese products will accomplish is it will further alienate China from the rest of the world. We need to build a global community, not reinforce divisions across borders. If you're going to boycott a country's products because of human rights violation records, then you should be consistent and boycott the products of ANY country that violates human rights. Including the US. If you can't be true to your principles, what are you really fighting against? Don't be ignorant.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 8 years
Kathleen, that's a great approach. I wish I had that talent! Unfortunately, if I tried to make my own clothes, I'd make those poor dears they removed from the compound in Texas look like Nicole Kidman at the Oscars.... :OY:
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 8 years
Kathleen, that's a great approach. I wish I had that talent! Unfortunately, if I tried to make my own clothes, I'd make those poor dears they removed from the compound in Texas look like Nicole Kidman at the Oscars.... :OY:
KathleenxCouture KathleenxCouture 8 years
I think people are misconstruing my opinion. Of course it's impossible to get all of the materials USA certified needed to make your own clothes. I was simply stating that if people are so worried about chinese labor and the clothes being assembled (i.e. sewn) in china then why not just DIY. If you don't know how to se, well, take up a new hobby ;)
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 8 years
And regarding the Olympics: I don't think we should boycott the games, that only hurts the athletes. However, I do not believe any of our elected officials should attend the opening or closing ceremonies. That looks too much like an official endorsement.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 8 years
Oh, here's another problem with Chinese products. This is still a breaking and developing story, but one of the ingredients in the prescription blood thinner Heparin is sourced in China. There have been a number of deaths related to it. It took some time for them to notice the real source of the problem, as the deaths were mostly among older people. DarkRayne: Chinese imports will only stop when people quit buying them. It may leave store owners holding the bag on unwanted merchandise, but if it changes their purchasing habits, then it's only a temporary pain. They can always mark it down to cost or donate it to charity and take a tax deduction.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 8 years
Oh, here's another problem with Chinese products. This is still a breaking and developing story, but one of the ingredients in the prescription blood thinner Heparin is sourced in China. There have been a number of deaths related to it. It took some time for them to notice the real source of the problem, as the deaths were mostly among older people. DarkRayne: Chinese imports will only stop when people quit buying them. It may leave store owners holding the bag on unwanted merchandise, but if it changes their purchasing habits, then it's only a temporary pain. They can always mark it down to cost or donate it to charity and take a tax deduction.
lula29 lula29 8 years
I'm not so much on a boycott China movement as a buy local one. It's difficult, more expensive but worth it on so many levels. All the product recalls from last year really scared me straight. Which I know is very self-centered, one would think the labor practices would be enough, more than enough, but it wasn't until all those things hit home that I realized that I can't just object on a moral level, I have to act on this conviction in a real way. I think in end more of us will be forced to buy local due to the same fears.
lula29 lula29 8 years
I'm not so much on a boycott China movement as a buy local one. It's difficult, more expensive but worth it on so many levels. All the product recalls from last year really scared me straight. Which I know is very self-centered, one would think the labor practices would be enough, more than enough, but it wasn't until all those things hit home that I realized that I can't just object on a moral level, I have to act on this conviction in a real way. I think in end more of us will be forced to buy local due to the same fears.
jennifer76 jennifer76 8 years
I'm all coffeed up and rambley this morning. I'm going to try again to boil it down succinctly... Anyone who is boycotting the Olympics but not Chinese goods is saying they are willing to sacrifice the culminating moment for hard working athletes all over the world for the (questionable) possible benefit of deserving people on the wrong end of China's human rights policies, but unwilling to sacrifice their own wallets and convenience for the (more effective) possible benefit of those same people. And, yah...I call bullshit on that. Hmmm...that may or may not be less rambley. :rotfl:
jennifer76 jennifer76 8 years
I'm all coffeed up and rambley this morning. I'm going to try again to boil it down succinctly...Anyone who is boycotting the Olympics but not Chinese goods is saying they are willing to sacrifice the culminating moment for hard working athletes all over the world for the (questionable) possible benefit of deserving people on the wrong end of China's human rights policies, but unwilling to sacrifice their own wallets and convenience for the (more effective) possible benefit of those same people. And, yah...I call bullshit on that.Hmmm...that may or may not be less rambley. :rotfl:
DarkRayne DarkRayne 8 years
It's up the store owners, the importers and our Government to boycott all goods from China. Most business owners have already paid for the merchandise that's sitting on the shelves. We would only be hurting our own businesses in an already growing recession, and we really don't want to be the cause of more people out of work and losing their homes in the USA.
jennifer76 jennifer76 8 years
On top of that, the whole point of the Olympics is to set aside politics and set aside discord and disagreements between countries. While they have gotten overly commercial, they should still be about individual people coming together for the love of sport and personal achievement.
jennifer76 jennifer76 8 years
Sylvana Joyce, not sure if you're referring to my comment when you say why on earth would you chastise someone for making an effort to cut back on support, even if they don't do it fully?. To me, boycotting the Olympics while regularly buying Chinese goods is BS because boycotting the Olympics is easy. And, not only are you not actually having to do anything to "make a stand", your "stand" doesn't mean a whole lot. The Olympics play on free tv and information is freely found on the Internet. The number of people who watch have no effect on China whatsoever and if anything will only affect the next country who hosts the Olympics with lower advertising revenue the next time around. I suppose making noise about China during the Olympics might possibly raise awareness in the few people on Earth who are unaware of China's human rights record but in reality all you're really accomplishing is stomping on the unpaid, hardworking athletes who are what the Olympics should be about.
jennifer76 jennifer76 8 years
Sylvana Joyce, not sure if you're referring to my comment when you say <em>why on earth would you chastise someone for making an effort to cut back on support, even if they don't do it fully?</em>. To me, boycotting the Olympics while regularly buying Chinese goods is BS because boycotting the Olympics is easy. And, not only are you not actually having to do anything to "make a stand", your "stand" doesn't mean a whole lot. The Olympics play on free tv and information is freely found on the Internet. The number of people who watch have no effect on China whatsoever and if anything will only affect the next country who hosts the Olympics with lower advertising revenue the next time around. I suppose making noise about China during the Olympics might possibly raise awareness in the few people on Earth who are unaware of China's human rights record but in reality all you're really accomplishing is stomping on the unpaid, hardworking athletes who are what the Olympics <em>should be</em> about.
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
I was raised from a very young age not to buy things made in Asia because, frankly, it's over-priced here and really cheap there ... and no one wants to support sweatshops and pollution when the consumer dollar could be spent on aid programs like UNICEF or the Red Cross. I always ended up getting things tailor-made by my family tailor in Bangladesh [because most of the stuff I gravitate to in H&M are Made in Bangladesh or India], or my mom would make me clothes herself. If I had half the skills my mom does, I would probably go the route of making my own clothes ... but I can't operate a sewing machine or a needle and thread for my life. I can only knit and crochet like a madwoman.
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
I was raised from a very young age not to buy things made in Asia because, frankly, it's over-priced here and really cheap there ... and no one wants to support sweatshops and pollution when the consumer dollar could be spent on aid programs like UNICEF or the Red Cross. I always ended up getting things tailor-made by my family tailor in Bangladesh [because most of the stuff I gravitate to in H&M are Made in Bangladesh or India], or my mom would make me clothes herself.If I had half the skills my mom does, I would probably go the route of making my own clothes ... but I can't operate a sewing machine or a needle and thread for my life. I can only knit and crochet like a madwoman.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 8 years
I voted "other" because I do try to avoid Chinese goods, but don't make a crusade of it. I don't know if this is the same book mentioned above, or another one, but what about "A Year Without "Made in China": One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy" by Sara Bongiorni? It was published June 29, 2007, so it may be more recent information. I recall some interviews with the author last summer, and she said it was *very* difficult and sometimes impossible. There are lots of questions no one seems to be asking about Chinese manufacturing. Yes, there are the safety issues. They don't have the same product safety standards we have, and since their industry is driven primarily by low prices, that's not going to change any time soon. However, what about: (1) Pollution emitted into local towns and waterways by antiquated and/or unregulated factories. (This is a problem in Russia, also.) (2) Labor standards, working conditions and pay rates. Is there really child labor, prisoner labor, etc? (3) How effectively do American firms monitor all these problems in foreign factories? They claim to, but....
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 8 years
I voted "other" because I do try to avoid Chinese goods, but don't make a crusade of it. I don't know if this is the same book mentioned above, or another one, but what about "A Year Without "Made in China": One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy" by Sara Bongiorni? It was published June 29, 2007, so it may be more recent information. I recall some interviews with the author last summer, and she said it was *very* difficult and sometimes impossible. There are lots of questions no one seems to be asking about Chinese manufacturing. Yes, there are the safety issues. They don't have the same product safety standards we have, and since their industry is driven primarily by low prices, that's not going to change any time soon. However, what about: (1) Pollution emitted into local towns and waterways by antiquated and/or unregulated factories. (This is a problem in Russia, also.) (2) Labor standards, working conditions and pay rates. Is there really child labor, prisoner labor, etc? (3) How effectively do American firms monitor all these problems in foreign factories? They claim to, but....
LeChatonNoir LeChatonNoir 8 years
It sounds like we're having a competition of who has rid him/herself of China's goods the best. This is not the issue, though. It's not about what you yourself do, and why on earth would you chastise someone for making an effort to cut back on support, even if they don't do it fully? If we want change, we can't just expect everyone to suddenly boycott completely. Why? Most people are unaware, or just don't care. But raising consciousness is, and will always be, a PROCESS. This is the thing few of us take a step back to really be peaceful with. Yes, manufacturing in China is an issue. But there are many other third world countries who are taken advantage of, like Indonesia, and also, there are millions of other situations right in the US where workers are exploited. So what does that say? That this unfairness is part of the global (as well as our country's) consciousness. It's our mentality. We accept it, because we may not be aware of how it plays out in something as simple as our everyday interactions with others. We are raised not to care, and that caring about these issues is an exception, that community service is something rare and should be rewarded, that openmindedness is a jewel amidst a sea of ignorance... This issue is so much deeper than we give it credit for, and it is connected to the apartheid in Africa, white supremacy, global warming, overmedication of our youth, nuclear arms debates, and any situation that keeps one man down and the other man "free": Until we stand up and admit that we are sleeping as a nation and as a global community, and also admit that we DON'T know what we're doing, and we DON'T know how to fix it, and we deal with bigotry, racism, intolerance, hatred and fear within ourselves...that's the only way we can really ensure that there's a possibility for something different... Because then, well, we'd finally be speaking the truth.
LeChatonNoir LeChatonNoir 8 years
It sounds like we're having a competition of who has rid him/herself of China's goods the best.This is not the issue, though. It's not about what you yourself do, and why on earth would you chastise someone for making an effort to cut back on support, even if they don't do it fully?If we want change, we can't just expect everyone to suddenly boycott completely. Why?Most people are unaware, or just don't care.But raising consciousness is, and will always be, a PROCESS. This is the thing few of us take a step back to really be peaceful with. Yes, manufacturing in China is an issue. But there are many other third world countries who are taken advantage of, like Indonesia, and also, there are millions of other situations right in the US where workers are exploited.So what does that say? That this unfairness is part of the global (as well as our country's) consciousness. It's our mentality. We accept it, because we may not be aware of how it plays out in something as simple as our everyday interactions with others. We are raised not to care, and that caring about these issues is an exception, that community service is something rare and should be rewarded, that openmindedness is a jewel amidst a sea of ignorance...This issue is so much deeper than we give it credit for, and it is connected to the apartheid in Africa, white supremacy, global warming, overmedication of our youth, nuclear arms debates, and any situation that keeps one man down and the other man "free": Until we stand up and admit that we are sleeping as a nation and as a global community, and also admit that we DON'T know what we're doing, and we DON'T know how to fix it, and we deal with bigotry, racism, intolerance, hatred and fear within ourselves...that's the only way we can really ensure that there's a possibility for something different...Because then, well, we'd finally be speaking the truth.
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 8 years
Its an electric pedal. I also have an electric knee pedal machine from the 30's. One is a singer, one is a visetti. I think my scissors were made in the USA. When my grandma passed last winter I got all her old sewing stuff, so I'm set for life! talk about reuse...
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