State University of New York Institute of Technology
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China`s Artificially Low Currency is Killing American Production

There is no doubt that trade with China is a vital part of both our economies, however, our import / export ratio is far too high. A new bill is in the works to employ the Treasury Department to determine if China is keeping its currency severely undervalued in order to boost exports to the U.S. Part of this bill would raise a tariff on imports from China, increasing American competitiveness.

This could weaken exports to China and result in a loss of jobs in the U.S. But this tariff is long overdue. How many industries have moved production in from Central New York to Beijing? We have already lost far too many jobs. Did you know that there are practically no antibiotics produced in America, it’s all made overseas in China and India. This is not the only industry that has become extinct in the U.S.

This dependence on imports shows an ugly side of the American consumers that not too many of us are aware of, or at least want to admit. The loss of jobs is evident, the resulting strain on our government from an increase in unemployment benefits is a second hit, the added costs of properly recycling and managing waste is a third. The fact that every dollar spent on imports returns 30 cents to our economy while every dollar spent on domestic goods adds three dollars to our economy is the biggest hit.

The less obvious problem is our hypocrisy. Americans, by buying imported products instead of domestic, vote with their dollar not to support labor laws and environmental regulations. We are supporting other countries that do not pay into labor safety or manage their waste properly. Where is the legislature to reflect this? If we do not want to pay for the added costs, we should change our own regulations on waste and pay rates and benefits. Like it or not, if you want to be Green, you cannot buy from manufactures that dump toxic waste into the ocean. If you are against unsafe labor practices, you cannot buy from manufactures that deny workers unemployment, sick leave, and other benefits that we take for granted. If our economic model does not work, we should step-up and fix it, not just let it die while we outsource and import.

Reference: U.S. Senate Backs Tough China Trade Moves, October 3, 2011.


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