I am all for open trade among the countries of the world. I think it is a fine idea that we trade openly with the U.S. and that we are gradually getting rid of all our tariffs and duties. I am in favour of trade with England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Sweden - almost everyone. But, can someone please tell me why we are courting trade with China?
In a past life I purchased custom merchandise from China but was forced to give it up because the Chinese merchants cannot be trusted. If they can cut a corner to save money, they will - no matter how unsafe their products are.
Recently, toys from China were found to contain unsafe levels of lead and this has probably been the case for many decades. Unfortunately, Canada and the U.S. do not employ enough people to test for this type of problem. Unfortunately also, the Chinese are not even remotely concerned about health and safety and continue to make products that are unsafe even for children. Today it was announced that toys were pulled from the shelves in Australia because they contain beads with a date-rape drug that is potent enough to kill small children. A number of children have been hospitalized because of these toys. The beads contained in a toy called Aqua Dots (Bindeez in Australia) can cause unconsciousness, seizure, drowsiness, coma and death.
Apart from this, the Chinese government regularly imprisons people for disagreeing with them or merely for being part of Falun Gong, a system of meditations, exercise and teachings that renew the mind and body. These stupid old men are so paranoid that they cannot allow any thoughts that differ from theirs.
It seems that the free world is so okay with all this that we just couldn't wait to let China have the Olympics as a reward for their bad behavior. Wouldn't it have been possible for us to tell them that they could not have the Olympics until they straightened up and flew right? Or, are we so desperate to trade with these thugs and criminals that we can overlook anything while driving all manufacturing out of our countries in order to facilitate the criminally low wages and terrible working conditions in China - including child labour.
While I am delighted that the Canadian Prime Minister sat down to meet with the Dalai Lama and that he is supposed to have spoken harshly (?) with Chinese officials about political thuggery, I wish that we, as a country, would have the balls to tell them to get lost until they behave better.
Too much to hope for, I guess.