Originally Posted by coaster
So many of the goods produced in China for export to the U.S. are made under contract to U.S. companies, or made by Chinese companies owned outright by U.S. companies. So I think some of the blame needs to be put on U.S. companies which are just outsourcing product in China and aren't paying close enough attention to how the product is made. I think some of the changes which China needs to make could be introduced easier if the U.S. companies doing business there wrote them into their contracts: better treatment of workers, environmental protections, copyright protection, etc. etc. Trying to get these changes implemented on a government to government level is going to take decades, if at all. Bringing in the changes "by the back door" -- U.S. companies requiring manufacturing to U.S. standards in China even if the law there doesn't require it. Soon they'll be doing it as a regular course of doing business with the U.S. and since so much of their business is export to the U.S., it'll become standard practice throughout their entire economy.
I agree with the majority of that wholeheartedly. I do think we need better labeling all the way around, including what country it's manufactured in. That being said, though, there's absolutely no reason that the US should not be held accountable for making sure that the products that they import are up to US standards. The burden here falls on the country with the higher standards, imo. If US companies bargain and outsource their labor to save on costs, then it is THEIR responsibility to make sure that the companies they're doing business with are up to snuff. The bottom line here, like with anything in corporate America, is the almighty dollar. It's all about profit and making sure that their corporations make as much as they can, instead of taking a more moral and careful route and providing quality products produced in an ethical environment.
To be honest, though, I'm not entirely sure that this isn't partially a set up, considering that China is a target.