Archive for Trade

Boycott Chinese Products? Here’s Why

Posted in Economics, Opinions, Politics with tags , , , , , , on July 31, 2011 by Ian Pham

This is just a brief note on why we should start boycotting Chinese-made products.  The first reason is obvious, the Communist government in Beijing has been executing a policy of aggression and expansionism towards all of its neighbours.  They’ve made clear their intentions to occupy all of Southeast Asia Sea, sending in their navy numerous times to harass and terrorize the fishermen, researchers, and coastguards of nearby nations.

It is already known what the Chinese Communist does to their smaller neighbors, well here’s a reason that’s closer to home for us.  The People’s Republic of China has made many aggressive acts towards the United States of America, they may be more subtle than the occurrences in Asia, but they are not invisible.  Numerous cases of plagiarism and espionage have been reported by the U.S. against the People’s Republic of China.  The Beijing government has been criticized for hacking, intrusion, and computer espionage against many major American companies.  As a result, staggering quantities of American intelligence has fallen into the hands of the Communist Chinese.

Digital espionage and theft of valuable information is just the start of the intrusive and aggressive acts against the United States.  Many of you may recall the whole episode of Chinese currency manipulation against the U.S. dollar.  It was only months ago when the U.S. had to confront the PRC for their manipulation of the Yuan, pegging it to the American dollar to keep Chinese prices low.  This resulted in the stagnation of the American economy, keeping the U.S. recovery at a standstill for the longest time.

The last reason I am presenting to you is a safety matter.  Many recent reports have shown that many raw materials imported from the PRC are very toxic, dangerous to the health of our consumers.  Chinese-imported toys are said to contain harmful chemicals such as lead, which can cause major health problems to the children who play with them.  Furthermore, there have been reports of respiratory problems caused by the chemicals and materials found in drywall imported from China.  These problems may not be construed as acts of aggression, but they are definitely health hazards.

As a result, I am led to believe that the Beijing government’s approach to consumer safety is similar to their approach to international politics, reckless, irresponsible, and shameless.  For this reason, I am asking you to just consider this one thing: when you’re about to purchase something, check where it is made before you take it to the register.  There are many reasons to boycott Chinese made products, I have just outlined only a few for you.  Obviously, you are in charge of what you buy or not buy, all I ask of you is this: check the tag.

Deals With the Free World, It’s a Great Thing!

Posted in Economics, Politics with tags , , , , on November 5, 2010 by Ian Pham

As you may know, Vietnam has made some pretty productive moves this past week.  During the meeting of East Asian ministers, Vietnam struck new deals with Japan, Russia, and the United States.  Being an optimist, I’d hope to see more deals like these made in the near future.

The business benefits of these agreements are clear, international investments, jobs, etc.  What I really like about these agreements is Vietnam’s willingness to cooperate with the democratic countries.  Officials from all sides hint at further improvements in multilateral relations, and that is a great thing.

I’m not naive enough to believe that these deals alone could make Vietnam democratic overnight.  However, I am idealistic enough to suggest that these new deals are taking Vietnam in a positive direction.  Any type of cooperation with a free and democratic country is good in my opinion.

That being said, I am not completely convinced.  Yes, things look good right now, but this is only the start of it.  Though China’ grip on the VCP seems to be slipping, they still hold considerable influence within the Party, and that makes things highly unpredictable.

At this point, my opinion about the Vietnamese government can go either way.  They’ve taken positive steps in moving the country forward, but the old problems still remain.  Only when the Party starts talking freedom of expression, association, and religion will you see my approval.

A Handful of New Deals in Vietnam

Posted in Economics, Politics with tags , , , , on November 4, 2010 by Ian Pham

There is an interesting trend happening in Vietnam right now, and that is the country reaching a number of new agreements with several different countries.  Besides the new agreement with Japan, which makes the two countries partners in mineral exportation and nuclear development, Vietnam has also reached new deals with the U.S. and the Russian Federation.  (Left to Right: Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao)

The deal with Russia signifies the two countries future cooperation in nuclear development, further adding to the development of Vietnam’s nuclear industry.  The agreement details Russia’s readiness to help build Vietnam’s first nuclear power plant, one of two reactors planned for completion by 2020.  Russian officials are also hinting at further cooperations between the two countries as future negotiations are scheduled.  (Picture: Russian President Dimitri Medvedev)

From the U.S., Vietnam purchased eight new 787-9 Dreamliner planes from Boeing, a major U.S. airline company.  Vietnamese officials say that future talks may bring further business transactions between the U.S. and Vietnam.  The new agreement was signed this past weekend at a ceremony in Hanoi where Hilary Clinton (right), and the rest of the leaders were in attendance.

Not bad at all, I must say.  Though the future is still uncertain, these new deals paint a better picture of what Vietnam can become, as long as the rulers follow through.  It’s still too early to tell what the intentions of the Vietnamese government are.  However, any interaction with the free and democratic countries is a positive step.  Therefore, my optimistic side tells me to expect the best.  Still, we can’t make any conclusions yet, we need results first.

Vietnam and Japan Become Partners in Mineral Exports and Nuclear Power

Posted in Economics, Politics with tags , , , , on November 3, 2010 by Ian Pham

The Vietnamese government has come to a new agreement with Japan, making them partners in mineral exports and nuclear development.  Vietnam will become a supplier of rare minerals and earths to Japan, and the two will cooperate in the development of nuclear power.

The previous supplier of most of Japan’s mineral and earth resources was China, but the recent developments in the Pacific has caused Japan to look for new business associates.  The recent clashes prompted China to impose an embargo on the Japanese, but they have since then been lifted.

Japan has made promises to assist Vietnam in the development of nuclear power, as Vietnam aims to construct eight nuclear plants by 2030.  The new agreements took place at the meeting of East Asian leaders on saturday in Hanoi.  Top officials from Russia and the U.S., including Hilary Clinton, were also in attendance.