No. 813



In case you have not noticed, America is in a trade war and has been for the past several years. We have a huge trade imbalance as we import far more goods from foreign countries than we sell or export. Of course, this varies from month to month, and year by year. Our biggest trading partner is China, as the American consumer has all but built their economy. Now there is an effort under way to do something practical about our trade situation, especially with this fast-developing superpower, and it’s simply to stop buying Chinese-made products and food, unless there is absolutely no other option. Because of some recent developments we, the American consumer, may be able to turn this around.
Sometime back, Diane Sawyer of ABC News conducted a study that was later reported on this major television network. Here was the basis for the study -- their team removed all items from a typical, middle-class family’s home that were not made in the USA. There was hardly anything left besides the kitchen sink. Literally. During this special report, they showed truckloads of items – USA made – that were brought in to replace these items and they also showed where to find these items and the difference in price, etc. It was interesting that Diane Sawyer said that if every American spent just $64 more than normal on USA-made items this year, it would create something like 200,000 new jobs.
Here is the bottom line. Would you spend an extra $64 each year at the grocery store if you thought it would create more jobs in America and do great things for our nation’s balance of trade? I would in a heartbeat! Again, from a practical standpoint, simply look at the bottom of every product you buy, and if it says, “made in China” or “PRC” (Peoples Republic of China) and that now also includes Hong Kong, just choose another product or none at all. If you will take what I am saying seriously and begin to do this, you will be amazed at how dependent you have become on Chinese products and you will be equally amazed at what you can do without.
For example, who needs plastic eggs to celebrate Easter? If you must have eggs, use real ones and help some American farmer. Easter is just one example. The point is this: Do not wait for the government to act. Just go ahead and assume control on your own. Think about this: If 200 million Americans refuse to buy just $20 each of Chinese goods, that’s a billion dollar trade imbalance resolved in our favor … fast. There is a downside: Some American businesses will feel a temporary pinch from having foreign stockpiles of inventory. I would not want that and I don’t think you would either.
What’s the solution? Let’s give them fair warning and send our own message. Most people who have become aware of this campaign, and are reading and thinking about it, will taper off over a period of time anyway. For me, and perhaps you as well, this comes down to a matter of freedom. We all cherish our God-given right to open, honest and free elections but actually we vote each time we open our wallets or swipe a credit card. When enough American consumers decide we have had enough, and vote with our purchases, there will be changes made in our economy.
The greatest change of all is that more Americans will be working instead of drawing unemployment. If you have some good ideas, share them with me. I will be happy to pass them along in a future column.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit www.bookcaseforeverychild.com. You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)