Walmart warning us about China


#1

Evil left-wing MSN is reporting that Walmart is warning us that Trump’s trade war with China will cause many (26) products to be “hit hardest”. Now, read through this and see if there is anything on the list that Americans cannot make for themselves. I, myself, would welcome not ever seeing the tag “Made in China” ever again. Here’s the article:


#2

It will be interesting to see how long the Chinese continue to cut themselves off from the lucrative American markets.

The issue here goes well beyond unfair tariffs. The Chinese are also guilty of the wholesale theft of American intellectual property. That is just as big of an issue. The Chinese routinely steal patents, technology and American movies. There are even a few progressives who are willing to say that something should be done about that, under their breath, of course.


#3

It’s more likely we’ll just get them from somewhere else. Indonesia, Vietnam, or heck even the African nations now.

Remember people. “economic patriotism” was Obama’s standpoint, and it’s actually a well-treaded form of tyranny.

Where I purchase my everyday goods from, is not the collective’s concern. Forcing me to buy things at American prices, hurts what I can do.

Companies know what they’re getting into when they go to China. They are required to build a company of 50/50 share when they go there They decide to take that risk. Thus, I have no sympathy if they get scooped.

If it’s not a national security secret (in which case, why the hell were we building it there?) there’s not much reason here to care.

It means there are abundant generic products, and that the world doesn’t have to pay exorbitant, 1st-world brand prices to access modern conveniences that we in the 1st-world take for granted. There was a Japanese economist who was highly complimentary of China doing this, because he could see this contributed to the rise in living standards, not just in China, but all the places they sold their goods to.


#4

Wasn’t it the Chinese PM that BO said to him on a live mike (he didn’t know it was live) something like, “Don’t worry, once I’m re-elected, I can do more”?


#5

No, that was with the Russians.


#6

Yeah, that’s true. But the tariffs that China imposes on imported American goods hurt Americans. Most buyers, both American and Chinese, will naturally buy the cheapest goods they can find. That means most buyers currently buy Chinese goods both in the US and in China.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the tariffs were the same (ideally zero) in both directions? That way we could continue to buy cheap Chinese stuff to our hearts’ content while Chinese people buy some American stuff and thus give Americans jobs too.

Well, THAT is what President Trump is doing! He’s playing a little trade war to get equal tariffs with China. We may never have had a president in our history who understands business as well as President Trump and who has gone to bat for the Americans to this extent. May God Bless President Trump!


#7

Self-imposed Taiffs also hurt the Chinese and turn their economy into a cul-de-sac of innovation for that industry.

They hurt themselves by doing it. It isn’t a “win”, which is the mindset people take up in error, because they don’t look at the long term consequences for a nation doing this.

Nope; it’s about your use case. Even steel isn’t infinitely interchangeable. Plenty of Chinese steel isn’t the right quality or alloy for most uses in the worldwide economy, hence why even here they’re barely in the top 10 of our imports, and less than 3% of the total.

It’s socialist planning 101 on display; if you just focus on being a producer, you produce the product cheaply, in mass quantities. China is invoking tariffs, in part, because they overproduced, and they have to find a way to sell the stock, or they’ll have to start letting million of people working in state-owned factories go.

They’ve put themselves into a bind. Just like they’re ginormous overproduction of housing, it’ll punish them in its own time.

In meantime, we get cheap steel, for less than what it took to make it. Basically a subsidy to our economy, paid for by the Chinese taxpayer.

That’s what Bush was trying to do in 2002. What happened?

We don’t live in a vacuum of experience. This has been tried before, and it succeeded only in putting more cronyism into our own system, at the cost of other jobs & industries.


#8

It doesn’t only hurt themselves, it hurts us too. Tariffs cause higher prices. Higher prices cause lower sales. Lower sales of American goods cause two problems: less Americans working and a higher trade deficit.

Oh good grief. I made a general statement and didn’t qualify it. I should have said that where the quality is close enough, people will buy the lower priced goods.

2002? That year was bracketed by momentous events. In 2001 America was viciously attacked by psychopaths resulting in the destruction of the World Trade Center, a huge loss of life and a huge hit to America’s economic center. And the only Gulf War started the next year.

How can you talk about the results of any tiny tariff issue that might have been done in 2002? How could you possibly pick the affects out of the tumult?


#9

No, we just refocus on doing things that are value-added. Do things mass-socialism can’t copy easily.

Again, Germany’s experience shows that this works; they lost no manufacturing capacity after China Joined the WTO; instead, China had to basically buy German equipment to make everything they do.

2002:

It destroyed far more jobs than it saved, that’s the true face of tariffs.


#10

AS, you seem to think that President Trump wants to leave these tariffs in place. He doesn’t. He wants to force China to negotiate low, symmetric tariffs–low in both directions.


#11
  1. He doesn’t have to, to get the same result as Bush. It took only a year for 250,000 jobs to be lost.

  2. Trump is building “temporary” policy, that will outlast his administration. Each President does, and each has contributed to the Unitary Executive theory, expanding the powers of the office. Trump has been no different.


#12

The entire notion of “intellectual property” doesn’t stand close scrutiny anyway.

Suppose I trade for an ipad with my rightful property, take it apart, and figure out how it works and how to make one. I then construct, out of my legitimately owned materials, a duplicate of the ipad, call it the ipud, and sell it. Exactly what in the ipud do I not own? I own all of the materials. Presumably, I own the information and knowledge of how to make the product, as this is just information stored in my brain. So unless Apple owns my brain, and the information in it, I don’t see how they can say they have a legitimate property claim over that information. My ipud is made 100% out of my own property, and so is, therefore, mine to sell and trade in whatever peaceful manner I see fit.


#13

Agreed, it fails the property test:

If it’s non-excludable, and non-rivalrous, it doesn’t make sense to call it property.

Plenty of industries don’t have IP; Fashion, Cooking, Databases, Furniture, even the sculpt of automobiles.


#14

I agree that it’s difficult to define and delineate. But there’s great value in recognizing and protecting it. Take your example, Apple iPads. Apple has spent many man-years perfecting the code, the electronics, and the packaging. If you can just buy one and figure out how to duplicate it (I’m not sure how possible that is, but assume it can be done), then you wouldn’t have to invest all those man-years in getting your product to market.

You could sell yours a lot cheaper than Apple could because you have only a little cost to recover whereas they have lots. You would drive their company out of business. But then you wouldn’t have the resources or experience to come up with a new design. So everyone who likes iPads would ultimately suffer.


#15

Just because you have an idea about the design, doesn’t mean you understand how it was built, or have the means to reproduce it.

The Chinese have owned Russian jet engines for over 40 years; they still can’t produce one powerful enough to take off an aircraft carrier.

The Chinese equally aren’t very good at making microchips, which is why they have to import them from us or Germany, to put into those Ipads, and their phones.

Making a generic product, does not mean you’ve equated the original one. Apple commands a premium because of quality.

New Zealand is able to sell milk and bovine products into China, at a premium, because they too have quality, which Chinese consumers look for.


#16

I’m not sure we’re disagreeing.


#17

Then you admit IP isn’t very important.

Capital, human or otherwise, doesn’t transfer to you, just because you have the blueprints.

There were plenty of our designs the Soviets couldn’t build, because they didn’t have the material engineering, or industrial scale to pull it off.

Figuring that out, can take decades.

Meanwhile, the “trickle down” effect of the Chinese building cheap, Generic versions of western products, dramatically increased living standards there and elsewhere.

IP is going away. In the digital age, nothing can stop that anymore than it can stop music downloads. Given how much more effective human beings become when products become generic, it’s something we should welcome.


#18

By that reasoning, we should chuck patent law, too. If you were making “ipuds” individually by yourself one at a time, I wouldn’t have an argument about it, and I doubt that Apple would much care. But if you mass-market the thing and cost Apple sales because you didn’t spend the overhead to develop the technology that you’re copycatting, I’m all for lowering the boom on you.


#19

Well and good, but that’s not how IP theft works. The way CHINA does it, is they coerce companies wanting to manufacture stuff IN China into SHARING their IP as a condition for the Chinese government permitting that company to do business there. Since the savings in labor costs are so great, companies agree–perhaps believing that they can somehow “control” how much of their intellectual property they give away.


#20

I certainly admit that figuring out how to duplicate very technical products like the iPad is very difficult. But a lot of products aren’t nearly as difficult.

Though, “IP” is a broad term. I’m totally against software patents, which may be included within that term. That is, if a software developer comes up with a particularly novel software technique for doing something, it might be tempting to patent it on the notion that while easy to understand when observed, no one else may be clever enough to come up with it from scratch. A patent clerk may agree.

The problem with that is, there’s almost always a clever guy around the corner that already thought of it and was using it, but didn’t think it was novel enough to patent. Clever software guys abound.

In spite of all that, any company that invests capital to design a product should be given some protection against those that simply reverse engineer and duplicate cheap knockoffs for easy profit.

You’re conflating different things. It’s still against the law to download copyrighted music without paying for it if the copyright holder demands payment. The controversy was that the recording industry didn’t want to provide the service that their customers demanded, so customers came up with their own service and stole the product. The solution was for the recording industry to provide the service.