opinion

COLUMN: Stop buying Chinese-made goods



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An American flag waves outside of Franklin Hall on Oct. 17, 2017. IDS file photo Buy Photos

If a foreign nation threatened your family and fellow countrymen’s way of life, would you go fight for that nation? Of course not. You want to do what you can to ensure that those you love and care about will thrive.

If that’s the case, then why do we buy products made in China? 

Whether we like it or not, we are in the midst of a trade war. Tariffs plague our markets and ultimately, consumers suffer.

We’re all guilty of buying products made in China. It’s not necessarily our fault; American-made items seem to be rarities nowadays. However, they can be found if you put in the extra effort to seek them out.

As with any trade war, tariffs are imposed on both sides of the conflict. The purpose of these tariffs is to inhibit your tendency to purchase Chinese-made goods. If the price is too high on a tariffed product made in China, Americans will naturally search for alternatives. It’s both a disincentive and an incentive. The high price prevents Americans from buying the products made in China. At the same time, it incentivizes Americans to find alternatives that do not suffer from the same high prices tariffed items do.

Many people see tariffs as a harmful tax rather than a beneficial tool. Our country needs us. These tariffs are the U.S. government's way of suggesting that we support American manufacturers, and we must answer this call to arms. 

In today’s world, what you buy sends a big message. Each purchase of a Chinese good supports their manufactures while hindering our own.

All of China’s manufacturing growth, however, has proved to be too rapid for its own good. China’s approach to treating factory workers today resembles the same inhumane conditions many working Americans faced during the Industrial Revolution.

Sadly, some factories in China continue to mistreat their workers to maintain high production numbers. When we buy a Chinese product, we're telling the big corporations in China to keep it up. To them, high profits are a vote of approval and they give Chinese corporations no reason to consider what they’re doing may be wrong. It justifies their actions. If we all start to switch to products made in the U.S., we will undoubtedly raise eyebrows among China’s elite.

Hopefully, we can all agree that more jobs are great. People love stability and jobs provide it. Purchases of American-made products promote the growth of American manufacturing.

During numerous elections in recent years, the promise of increasing the amount of jobs in the U.S. has been a big people-winner. Factories bring life into towns and communities.

My own hometown, Bluffton, Indiana, experienced great success and growth due to the presence of a large company’s operations in nearby Fort Wayne. Unfortunately, both Bluffton and Fort Wayne suffered an immense loss when the company decided to base their operations elsewhere. The buildings they left behind have remained vacant for years. We can’t allow these buildings to remain empty while Americans scour for work on the streets. We must make our country thrive again. To do this, we have to bring our manufacturing back home.

Admittedly, industrializing a country provides many challenges, but I think we’re ready for them. We’ve had enough time to develop efficient working standards that both yield profits and have our workers’ best interests at heart. Additionally, solar farms and windmills could be a great way to keep pollution to a minimum. It does take some extra effort to shop for American-made products, but the results are very much worth it. When you buy these goods, you’re supporting fellow Americans and the industrial growth and development of our country.

Indeed, this trade war is necessary to increase the industrial independence of the U.S. Tariffs may seem inconvenient at first, but they’ll produce results that will benefit us all. Together, we can show our intent to create jobs and emphasize the importance of humane working conditions by supporting American manufacturers. 

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