China and Product Safety
American workers and their families have suffered from China’s unfair and predatory trade practices not only by losing their jobs, but also because illegally dumped and subsidized products endanger their health and safety and the health and safety of their families. In 2008, more than 80 percent of the product recalls by the Consumer Product Safety Commission involved Chinese products. This included roughly 17.6 million toys found to contain excessive lead. In one case, toys included a chemical that converts to the “date rape” drug GHB if swallowed.
Contaminated doses of the widely used blood thinner Heparin contributed to the deaths of at least 19 Americans, as well as hundreds of allergic reactions. Other products that prompted warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration included more than 150 brands of pet food and other animal feed ingredients from China, which were believed to have caused the sickness and death of many American pets. When a free market works as it is supposed to, market forces or effective regulation weed out poorly made and defective products. But this is exactly the problem. China is not a market economy—they play by different rules. China’s cheating skews the market, and American workers, families and children are paying the price.