Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rubber Chickens

The federal government announced it's imposing a 35-percent tariff on the import of Chinese tires starting September 26. The U.S. trade representative's office has stated that four domestic tire plants closed in 2006 and 2007 and three more are closing this year. During that same period, only one new plant opened. Imports of Chinese tires more than tripled from 2004 to 2008 and China's market share in the U.S. went from 4.7 percent of tires purchased in 2004 to 16.7 percent in 2008, the office said.

It would seem logical then that the United States needs to protect its manufacturing interests by imposing a tariff, reducing the trade deficit, and protecting American workers and their jobs. However, it has been reported on local radio news programs that China will retaliate by imposing a tariff on imports from America, particularly American chickens. At first glance that may seem a harmless thing. After all, it's only chicken feed.

To the American farmer, however, this is no laughing matter. Our nation's farmers produce more food than Americans can consume, hence they depend on exports in order to make a profit. Not only do they depend on these exports to make a profit, but so do businesses connected with this enterprise, such as seed companies, tractor supply companies, car dealerships, even local flower shops-for they depend on the agricultural community putting its profits into locally owned businesses.

Hence, decreased profits from chickens can hurt America almost as much as increased tariffs on imported tires can help America. It seems we face an interesting dilemma today: how can we provide all the goods Americans need or want at a reasonable price? Would we be willing to buy American in order to save American jobs and businesses? Are we willing to forego buying products made outside the United States? Are we so dependent on foreign goods that we wouldn't be able to survive on American products even if we wanted to? Are we on the brink of a worldwide trade war?

It would seem this is a good time for action. Prayer is a good start, but being informed and taking a hard look at personal budgets might go a long way to helping resolve an impending crisis, too.


Anonymous said...

I agree with this 100% I believe if there was ever a time for Americans to fall on their knees the time is now. I do not buy Chinese if I can at all possibly help it.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps as a nation, its a good time to call a fast, put on sackcloth, and sit in some ashes. Just maybe there needs to be more focus on God and what His Word clearly says than on our own self-centered desires. Instead of standing tall and proud we need to eat a little humble pie in the dirt, kneeling down, repenting for our sins and asking for forgiveness. We do have lots to celebrate because we have been extremely blessed by God. But the problem here goes much deeper than chickens, tires or even the American economy. So, should we pass out the rifles, international trade tariffs, or sackcloth? Just a thought.