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Web Letter

It is an old maxim of sales that you need to know your product and your market. It is therefore not surprising that Chinese businesses would be better at selling their own products in their own society. It might not be a bad idea for foreign businesses to partner with or hire local people to market their products. Indeed, local people should be consulted before a product line is committed to any foreign market. Besides making a good product, part of the reason Toyota is doing so well in the American market is that they advertise the fact that they are assembling their cars in America with American workers. By way of contrast, American companies are outsourcing their plants and jobs oversea. Toyota has a good product and they are putting people to work in America.

As a protectionist myself, I have no problem with China's tariff policies and their support for local industries. If we have become a dumping ground for cheap goods, along with outsourced jobs and industries, it is our own fault for not pursuing protectionist policies too. However, they did commit a grave error by not creating an internal market and a consumer base for that market. Creating this consumer class requires workers with a living wage and disposable income. Without a consumer class with a disposable income, there is no market. The sweat shop conditions and low wages of Chinese workers may seem beneficial to foreign trade but, unless all boats float on a rising tide, there is no true economic development. It is to be noted that the American economy is going down the drain because 70 percent of the economy is dependent on consumer spending. Outsourced jobs and industries, along with insourcing cheap labor to drive down wages means there is no living wage, no disposable income and no market for any goods from whatever source.

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Feb 1 2008 - 7:13pm