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Chinese trade - Is it really worth it?

by Willy / April 14, 2008 12:41 AM PDT

I read in my local paper that the NRC posted a warning on "counterfeit parts" and/or other less than desirable parts coming from China.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2000101/posts

I have no quibble trading with China, but it seems they leave nothing out of this trade loop. They supply so many items you may not be aware of and surprising when a glitch or problem crops-up its a Chinese boo-boo. Give me a break, do we need all this stuff, can't any of this be made at USA or elsewhere. Nuclear power plants are using critical parts from China, gee when did this happen. Aren't we having a terrorist issue and declare planes from flying overhead yet these parts go right in. Isn't there a better inspection process available there?

I found toothpicks from China, geeeezz can't we make toothpicks? Candy, medicine, auto parts, bearing, many sub-assys, nuts&bolts, filters, spices, fruit juices, on and on. They've even displaced suppliers that have been traditional and supplied good products at reasonable costs, but nothing gets by the China supply net for cheap and cheapest buyers.

What have we gotten in return - sub-standard products/items, counterfeit parts, imported bugs(Emerald ash borer) and even less oil to the rest of the world. They also use more coal than anyone else which in turn increases the world pollution problem. Wal-Mart buys so much from China, well you figure it out. Wal-mart the largest seller of goods in USA, doesn't pay its employees well and offers no insurance benefits to think of. Wal-mart buyers are happy of buying "cheap" products but seem to forget in doing so provides less demand for USA goods and/or other supply sources which in the long run isn't good.

If you say, that's its a global encomny, well what products are Chinese buying from us? Even then, they maybe buying their own goods back as USA made products could made of Chinese supplied items.

Don't take this as a rant, but got thinking in the NRC warning and say, "what the heck did you expect". -----Willy Happy

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Good Chinese Products
by James Denison / April 16, 2008 12:33 PM PDT

We do get a mixed bag of goods from them, but the good Chinese imports don't get the kind of press the bad ones do. Most of any computer today in the US is Chinese made for instance. My complaint beyond the bad products that make it through is the "push the product out the door" attitude that prevails, but trying to get Chinese based suppliers to take back defective products is when the fun begins. As long as you are buying from China based companies everything is happy face, but get some bad products and go for RMA and suddenly it's hard to locate this or that necessary person who is supposed to take care of it. Speaking from personal experience.

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Guess what I actually found that I bought today!
by Angeline Booher / April 17, 2008 2:13 AM PDT

I had apparently thrown out my paring knife with the trash, so bought a replacement yesterday at the supermarket..

I was somewhat surprised as I was wrestling to get it out of the packaging that it was made in Taiwan.

Forty- plus years ago I bought button front shirts for my son during his late toddler and kindergarten years at a now closed discount store (Zayres) that were made in Taiwan. Those shirts never popped a button.

First time I've noticed "made in Taiwan" for a long time.

The Chinese have been into into pirating CDs, movies, etc., and making "knock-offs" of watches, handbags, and expensive designer label items for years. Cheap, shoddy work. But generations and dynasties ago they created beautiful, lasting works of art.

They are entering their industrial revolution that the wetter countries had in the past when coal was the fuel used. No doubt they know the results from that, but they are playing catch-up at full speed ahead, so don't care.

My toothpaste is labeled "made in the USA", I use those made for sensitive teeth, so watch for sales. I notice nationally advertised brands run about $5 per tube for any type right now. I wonder if folks will go back to using baking soda again.

I know I haven't responded directly to your comments, Willy, so it's obvious I don't have any answers. Just adding my thoughts.

Angeline
Speakeasy Moderator

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I think they've come up with
by Dragon / April 19, 2008 9:30 AM PDT

ways of spotting fakes. The real ones will have hight-tech ways of tagging the real ones, especially if they are plastic.

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It's hard to accept
by Willy / April 20, 2008 3:08 AM PDT

I've noticed too many items after the sale are Chinese made, when before they weren't. I pick-up an item and check out, etc. and get home its from China. We buy paper bags for the family store, they're mostly from China, why? Much of the candy(bulk) boxes is too. I buy machine parts, same thing. When it something critical, I make it a point to buy specific parts not be Chinese, as those machine parts wore down too quickly nothing near the life cycle I've had before. oh well.... -----Willy

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That would be on the island of Formosa
by Steven Haninger / April 20, 2008 4:32 AM PDT

and not the mainland for it to be Taiwanese. We had diplomatic relationships and did trade with them back then but, with the mainland, it's been more recent. Rumor is that the tax rebate/stimulus package is Chinese financed. So much stuff comes from there you have to wonder who's really dependent upon who. We buy their stuff because it cheap an in abundance and they need consumers like us to keep their own industries growing. I wonder if the old botanical term "symbiosis" applies here.

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We HAVE to trade with them for economic reasons, Willy.
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / April 20, 2008 3:48 AM PDT

China is now the #2 holder of US Treasury bonds, second only to Japan. If we tried to cut off trade, the results would be catastrophic for both countries. On Wall Street they refer to it as "the nuclear option," the modern equivalent of the Cold War's Mututally Assured Destruction.

We were watching an extremely well-done and moving episode of Boston Legal the other night, whose main subject was a lawsuit where Candice Bergen's character was suing for the right to put her father (in the terminal stages of Alzheimer's) on a morphine drip after he jumped out of a window and suffered several broken ribs. What ensued was an interesting and well-argued discussion of that issue, fairly presenting both sides.

The secondary plot was a ridiculous lawsuit by the town of Nantucket to develop an A-bomb. Needless to say, the town lost, but the warpup of that stoy thread was a lightening-up scene set in the firm's favorite bar. The pianist was singing the 60's-era Tom Lehrer song
Who's Next?

There had been an update to one verse, though:

France got the bomb, but don't you grieve,
'Cause they're on our side, I believe.
China got the bomb, but have no fears,
They can't buy us out for at least five years
Who's next?

The original word was "wipe!"

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Office products
by Willy / April 20, 2008 11:35 AM PDT

The trade is way too lop-sided. I don't know how many times, I've gotten a product and it was crap. It really didn't deliver and then found out it was Chinese made. I got me plain old #2 pencil that broke and not the points broke either but the whole pencil broke, got another one it broke too. I used some scissors, then couldn't cut a straight line(it was funny, if I hadn't just brought it). Tried to return them, placed a bag over them on the way over and reached for them, they broke in two(geezz). I threw the scissors away and went in and got a decent pair that were from Korea and the pencils from Penn brand(I think), lots better. I shouldn't have to worry about something that you can take for granted, pencils and scissors. I don't think there are any USA made paper clips any more. Sad ------Willy Happy

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Who's Next?........
by caktus / April 20, 2008 2:42 PM PDT

....could probably gain some popularity today with very little push, especially with that 'new' verse.

As for [having to] trade with china, it's so true that with the help of good ol' US politics we're deadlocked in an unfavorable symbiotic relationship. Probably the only way to force "good ol' US politics" to carve a way out is for US consumers to go ball's-to-the-wall when it comes to NOT buying "Made In China", to include bugging the cr@p out of retailer's to stock "Made In USA." It may be true the US Government doesn't have the cod's to do it, but we consumer's do if only we decide to and hold to it. And it can only help if we occasionally remind one another, if only by a forum post here and there. Uncle Sam doesn't have the desire to protect it's own Constituents from poison dog food, deliberately tainted and counterfeit medicines and tooth paste, and poisoned children's toys. That's why I try to remember to read labels.

As for WalMart. It's not quite fair to make them out the 'bad guy.' When it comes to purchasing, their doing what virtually every retailer including most 'mom and pop's' are doing. Trying to compete and deliver products at the lowest price. Following hurricane Katrina WalMart contributed over $20,000,000 to the relief effort plus over 1,500 tractor trailers of merchandise, and food for 100,000 meals. They also donated many other items including ice, drinking water and fuel. One WalMart store had 45 trucks loaded and ready for delivery before Katrina even made landfall. Displaced WalMart employees were guaranteed jobs. Also, when Andrew took out homes and businesses across Florida and as far west as parts of La. (including two WalMart stores) WalMart was there. This just barely touches on WalMart's disaster relief and community efforts. And WalMart is not exactly slacking off when it comes to employee benefits and wages. On the low end wages may run 17-19k+, but even that beats many incomes.

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Take a look at this and see if Wal-mart is really
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / April 20, 2008 11:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Who's Next?........
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Wal-Mart DVD
by Willy / April 21, 2008 12:15 AM PDT

Dave, check your library or local video store for a DVD, thinking its, "The cost of Wal-Mart" made by a small production company. It a telling saga, etc. of what goes on or what they present it to be. -----Willy Happy

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RE: 2003
by caktus / April 21, 2008 3:05 AM PDT

Time, nature, politics, competition tends to change all. Should we bar or even stifle competition? Stop industrial evolution in it's tracts so that everything remains the same? So that nothing better every comes to be. If competition were stopped we'd all be tree swinging cr@p flinger's as someone so eloquently once said.

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Adios
by Willy / April 21, 2008 12:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Who's Next?........

Don't get me started on Wal-Mart. I rarely go there anymore. Talking to some suppliers, I find Wal-mart "arm twists" suppliers to makng a good deal or forfeit the business. Its not just wrangling for a good deal but alot of pressure, do it or else no business. Some Chinese factories supply a bulk of Wal-Mart goods and even Wal-mart can use it clot to force pressure there as well. Excluding any food, I could find 10 items within 25ft. of doors that are Chinese made. I don't think I've seen anything else in some time.

Forget Wal-mart suppling x-number of vans/trucks to Katrina, what about all those people on their own supplied help in one way or another. I'm glad they did it, but many other groups, business, churches, private people did as well. I'm sure other retailers did too, but stores like Hills, Rose's TGI(?), etc. that were big regional
stores, got pushed out by Wal-Mart, so all that's left to respond maybe only Wal-Mart. off soapbox -----Willy who's next Wink

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RE: "arm twists"
by caktus / April 21, 2008 3:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Adios

It's called competitive purchasing. We all generally go out of our way to get what we believe to be the best bang for our buck. Yes, "we all."

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