Made-in-China besieged in Latin America

Peru Image

 

On the very day that I arrived in Lima, Peru’s capital, I heard that people had burnt China-made clothes in the Gamarra market at the end of August. The next day, thousands of people demonstrated on the street, protesting that cheap Chinese clothes had destroyed their jobs.

Gamarra is one of the largest commercial markets in South America, employing tens of thousands of people. Many commodities there are made in China, especially clothes and textiles.

Two days later, I went to this crowded market, where the buildings have floor-to-ceiling windows with colorfully dressed mannequins. One can buy all kinds of commodities at stores on both sides of the street. If you look closely, you can see that most of the goods are made in China.

Jau Kin Siu, chairman of the Sociedad Central de Beneficencia China in Peru told me that there were three reasons for the clothes-burning incident. The clothing industry in Peru has been greatly affected by the Chinese imports. Some clothes traders try to report low prices at the customs and bring down the price of Chinese clothes. And dealers have suffered losses due to smuggling from neighboring countries.

In fact, Peru has strict restrictions on imported Chinese clothes. Although China and Peru have signed a free trade agreement, the clothing industry is excluded from the agreement.

Even so, Peru has felt the pressure from China’s clothing industry in recent years. It is considering starting an anti-dumping investigation into almost all clothing and textile products.

The impact of Chinese clothes on Peru reflects the tensions between China’s rise and global development, especially the development of emerging economies.

Peru’s official data shows that from 2005 to 2012, more than 14,000 clothing and textile factories were closed and over 94,000 people lost their jobs. These  were mostly family workshops and unable to compete with their Chinese counterparts at both national and international levels.

Similar things have happened in other South American countries. Made-in-China goods have been encountering more obstacles when entering the South American market and become the target of anti-dumping investigations.

Over the past decade, the economic relations between China and Latin America have been developing rapidly. Data from the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean shows that China invested more than $15 billion in Latin America in 2010, which was twice the amount between 1990 and 2009, and the investment scale is still expanding.

China’s investment undoubtedly injects a powerful impetus into the economic development of Latin America. But the similar nature of made-in-China and made-in-Latin America has resulted in a backlash.

The manufacturing industry in some Latin American countries has been shrinking in recent years, partially due to made-in-China goods squeezing them out of the market. Unless Chinese enterprises open factories there, they will encounter more trade barriers.

Globally, industrial complementarity is one of the main problems that restrain made-in-China goods from going global. The arrival of Chinese goods has had some positive impacts, like bringing down inflation. But if it harms people’s jobs, the reputation of Chinese goods, or even China itself will be affected.

Employment is high on the agenda in every country. Only when Chinese goods are cheap, well-made, and drive local employment can China’s image be improved.

The author is a senior editor with People’s Daily. He is now stationed in Brazil.dinggang@globaltimes.com.cn

The dangers of farm-raised tilapia from China

Talipia
BY DR. MICHAEL L. SMITH
COMMENTARY Appeared originally on Studio V Health WordPress

As a proponent of healthy eating and educating the public on sound evidence based research, I find it very alarming that there is a significant trend in this country whereby many people accept as fact, “the foods that we import that are so abundant in our supermarkets must be okay to eat, otherwise the government wouldn’t allow it”. Sound strange?

Well, I heard one of my patients say this to me just the other day when we were having a discussion about the pros and cons of eating fish as a regular source of protein in our diets. Let me introduce to you, what has become extremely popular on the average Americans dinner table over the past few years and that is tilapia. You’ve seen it, perhaps have eaten it at home or even in your local restaurant. In fact, it’s become so popular that Kevin Fitzsimmons, a professor at the University of Arizona and board member of HQ Sustainable Maritime Industries, that sells Chinese farm-raised tilapia was recently quoted, “Tilapia is going to be basically where chicken is with poultry”.

The U.S. currently imports about 80 percent of the frozen tilapia from China. So what’s the problem with this scenario?

Consumers need to be made more aware of the problems with eating tilapia that is imported from this world’s largest producer of the farm raised variety. Numerous environmental warnings about Chinese-raised tilapia from such groups as the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch have put this fish on their “avoid’ list of seafoods, this despite the fact that the U.S. has increased it’s imports every year from 2005 on. Many of the farm raised tilapia are grown in the notoriously polluted areas of China’s Guangdong province.

Recently, the U.S. Agriculture Dept.’s Economic Research Service raised questions about Chinese safety standards for farm-raised fish. The report mentioned, “Fish are often raised in ponds where they feed on waste runoff from poultry and livestock”. It has also been noted that Chinese farmers save money on the cost of raising these fish by dumping animal wastes into the ponds which cause algae to grow and serve as their food source. And don’t forget all of the problems with many other products made in China- toys with lead and toothpastes found to contain diethylene glycol, a poisonous chemical. Even more alarming is the usage of carbon monoxide which preserves the color of the fish and can make the fish appear fresher than it is! If you read the label of many brands, the only two ingredients listed are “Tilapia” and Carbon Monoxide (To Retain Natural Color)”.

From a nutritional standpoint, tilapia fails miserably when stacked against salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines and other marine sources of the omega-3 oils which have been shown to have positive effects on cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, stroke, inflammation, and brain health. Tilapia’s flesh doesn’t contain any. And the reason? If the producers used sources of omega-3 enriched meal to feed the tilapia to make them more of a viable healthy food source, the price would increase and that unfortunately is one of the reasons why this fish has become an American dietary staple. So it always comes down to the idea of how much of a price do you pay for eating unhealthy foods to save some money in the long run.

In my office we have a saying, “If you don’t take time for your HEALTH, then you will have to take time for your illness”. Educate yourself by becoming a label reader and asking the question: “Is this really good to put in my body?” and if you can’t pronounce an ingredient and the number of ingredients are many, it’s probably best to avoid.

Strive to be healthier!

Dr. Michael L. Smith specializes in functional medicine, nutrition and chiropractic healthcare

To learn more about why it is important to look for Made in USA Certification and Product of USA Certification on food or drinks we consume visit our website at:  www.USA-C.com

Made in USA Certified

China Launches Aircraft Carrier

Chinese Aircraft Carrier

China J-16 Landing on Deck

Langley Intelligence Group Network LIGNET

China has entered a critical phase in its rapid military expansion — and it is flexing its muscle for the world to see.

China just announced that it has succeeded in landing a J-15 fighter on an aircraft carrier, a milestone most experts didn’t expect the Chinese military to achieve for several years.

Gordon G. Chang, an expert on Asian geopolitics, tells LIGNET, the global intelligence and forecasting service, that China is becoming desperate as a result of its deteriorating economy and the desire to claim more land.

Chang also believes the “military is starting to break free of civilian control.” He calls this “a very, very troublesome event.”

Is this just the beginning of China’s aggressive attempt to position itself as a global military superpower?

As the Obama administration prepares to announce the replacement for Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, this looms as a critically important question.

On Tuesday, Dec. 4LIGNET will hold an emergency briefing on the escalating tensions between the United States and China.

Leading the intelligence panel will be former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who recently served as U.S. ambassador to China.

We strongly encourage you to join this urgent LIGNET briefing Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, at 11 a.m. EST to discover how this new China could have dire consequences for America and inescapable economic ramifications.

If you would like to register to watch this important briefing, you can sign up by clicking here.

China’s unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou 8 blasts off

n this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a modified model of the Long

BEIJING (AP) — China’s unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou 8 blasted off Tuesday morning, in the latest step in what will be a decade-long effort by the country to place a manned permanent space station in orbit.

The spacecraft took off from a base in the far western city of Jiuquan, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Minutes later, Xinhua cited Chang Wanquan, who leads China’s space program, as announcing the launch a success.

China launched its own space station program after being rebuffed in its attempts to join the 16-nation International Space Station, largely on objections from the United States. The U.S. is wary of the Chinese program’s military links and the sharing of technology with its chief economic and political competitor.

Earlier Chinese news reports did not specify a launch date for Shenzhou 8. Chinese space officials rarely speak to foreign media.

The Shenzhou 8 will attempt to dock with an experimental module, carrying out maneuvers to couple with the Tiangong 1 module now in orbit. The 8.5-ton, box car-sized Tiangong 1 launched last month.

Following Shenzhou 8, two more missions — at least one of them manned — are to meet up with the module next year for further practice, with astronauts staying for up to one month.

Plans call for launching two other experimental modules for more tests before the actual station is launched in three sections between 2020 and 2022.

At about 60 tons when completed, the Chinese station will be considerably smaller than the International Space Station, which is expected to continue operating through 2028.

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