The controversy over the recent comments made by CNN’s Jack Cafferty about China is a bit puzzling. Of course, we now live in a world where the truth is almost always taboo.
On April 9, Cafferty appeared in his usual role on CNN’s Situation Room. He was asked by Wolf Blitzer for his opinion on the relationship between the U.S. and China.
Cafferty replied: “I don’t know if China is any different, but our relationship with China is certainly different. We’re in hock to the Chinese up to our eyeballs because of the war in Iraq, for one thing. They’re holding hundreds of billions of dollars worth of our paper. We are also running hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of trade deficits with them, as we continue to import their junk with the lead paint on them and the poisoned pet food and export, you know, jobs to places where you can pay workers a dollar a month to turn out the stuff that we’re buying from Wal-Mart.”
Was Cafferty justified in making any or all of those statements? Let us examine the facts…
Because our Congress and president have deleted the federal Treasury and bankrupted our grandchildren’s future with earmarks and the ongoing war in Iraq (which has already cost $500 billion), this nation is being crushed under our own debt.. The National Debt now stands at $9.3 trillion. Since September 2006, the debt has been growing by $1.6 billion a day. In order to keep the government running, we borrow from foreign nations. In particular, China now owns 33 percent of our foreign-held debt.
According to the statistics kept on foreign trade by the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. had a $256 billion trade deficit with China in 2007 alone. That figure has doubled just since 2003. Our trade deficit with China has continued to grow by leaps and bounds since 1986, when we imported only $6 billion more than we exported to China.
We all remember the reports thousands of pets poisoned last year by wheat gluten imported from China. The food product conduct the highly toxic chemical melamine which is used in China as a fertilizer, but was banned in the United States. Though very dangerous, Chinese farmers continue to use it as a cheap alternative to safer products.
In addition to our pets, many of our children have been poisoned by Chinese-made products.
Shortly before Christmas, the product known as Aqua Dots was recalled when several children in the United States as well as abroad became violently ill and slipped into comas after sucking on or swallowing the tiny beads. The “Dots” were manufactured in China with a chemical which converts to GHB (gamma-hydroxy butyrate), commonly known as the ‘date-rape drug,’ once ingested. The craft toy was sold mostly at Wal-Mart and Toys “R” Us stores.
The day before the much talked-about Aqua Dots recall, the government announced a recall of 405,000 toys, most of which were toy cars due to toxic levels of lead. Included in the recall were 308,000 Pull-Back Action Toy Cars imported and sold by Dollar General, wind-up toys, music boxes, toy robots, Winnie-the-Pooh Spinning Tops, and 7,200 “Big Red” wagons imported and sold by Northern Tool & Equipment Co.
In September 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled one million Simplicity brand cribs which were made in China. The recall came after a 6-month-old and a 9-month-old baby became pinned and died in the cribs due to a defect. Several more children became trapped in the cribs but survived.
The following list represents only a small fraction of the imported Chinese products recalled in 2007:
–baby overalls (imported by Samarra Brothers, metal snaps contained toxic levels of lead)
-ceramic heaters (Family Dollar Stores imported the heaters which overheated and gave off toxic smoke)
-hair dryers (Metropolis Beauty imported travel hair dryers which had no electric shock protection devices as required for all hand-held dryers)
-remote controls (Best Buy recalled 10,000 Insignia DVD Player remotes after they were found to overheat and cause burns)
-children’s jewelry (rings imported by Rachel Rose Kidz which contained high levels of lead)
-batteries (JAKKS Pacific recalled 240,000 battery packs made for toy cars after reports started pouring in about the batteries bursting into flames)
-lamps (Currey &Company imported lamps with defective light sockets that presented fire and shock hazards)
-art sets (Toys “R” Us recalled 27,000 Wooden Coloring Cases which were found to contain toxic levels of lead)
–bicycles (imported by Target Stores were recalled after it was discovered that the bike frames were easily broken)
-easels (Distant Learning School Supply imported chalkboard easels which contained toxic levels of lead)
-baby seat (Infant Bouncer Seats imported by Oeuf LLC were recalled after reports of the metal frames breaking began to surface)
-toothpaste (the FDA discovered that many brands of Chinese-made toothpaste contained diethylene glycol (antifreeze) and caused kidney and liver failure)
-tires (Foreign Tire Sales in New Jersey recalled 450,000 tires manufactured in Hangzhou, China posed a serious safety hazard due to tread separation)
-key chains (Dollar General recalled 400,000 key chains which contained toxic levels of lead)
-heaters (Holmes Group was forced to recall 300,000 heaters which contained faulty wiring and presented a serious fire hazard)
-baby clothes (Disney Stores imported sleepwear which failed to meet U.S. flammability standards)
According to China Labor Watch, 80 percent of the $22.3 billion of toys sold in this country are manufactured in China. All of the major U.S. toy companies have turned to cheap Chinese labor to produce their toys. As a result, American factory jobs are becoming non-existent and our children are being poisoned. The importation of so many cheaply-made toys from China is in fact a lose-lose situation for Americans.
On Feb. 8, 2004, The Washington Post ran an article which reported: “More than 80 percent of the 6,000 factories in Wal-Mart’s worldwide database of suppliers are in China. Wal-Mart estimates it spent $15 billion on Chinese-made products last year, accounting for nearly one-eighth of all Chinese exports to the United States. If the company that Sam Walton built with his “Made in America” ad campaign were itself a separate nation, it would rank as China’s fifth-largest export market, ahead of Germany and Britain.”
In that same article, Post reporters Peter S. Goodman and Phillip P. Pan interviewed a Chinese labor activist Li Qiang. He said that factories that supply Wal-Mart and manufacture goods for American companies such as Dell and Mattel require workers to work 80 hours a week, while paying them $75 to $110 a month.
The minimum wage in China varies from each province but ranges from about $35 to $120 a month.
Cafferty went on to describe the Chinese government as “basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they’ve been for the last 50 years.”
Considering China’s abysmal record on human rights, their role in the ongoing massacre taking place in Darfur, and their policies of oppression toward Tibet and Burma…How could any thinking person disagree with him?
No one should ask Jack Cafferty to apologize for his words, doing so would be similar to asking an historian to apologize to the Nazis.