Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The High Price of "Made in China"

One of America's great engineering successes and a particularly beautiful example of our engineering skill is the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Staten Island in New York. It is North America's longest suspension bridge. This famous landmark opened in 1964, and is now in urgent need of renovation. Unfortunately, $34 million in steel production and fabrication work has just been outsourced to Communist China. This is another glaring example of our government creating jobs for foreigners instead of for Americans.

How did this happen? We are told that a Chinese firm was selected because two American companies lacked the manufacturing space and special equipment to do the job. But the United Steelworkers claim it had no trouble finding two other American bridge fabricators within 100 miles of New York that could do the job.

No doubt the Chinese price was cheaper than any American bid. The Chinese price is usually cheaper, but that doesn't take into account the additional costs and other factors. Consider the matter of safety, which surely is very important when we are talking about a bridge. China has a reputation for producing and selling us all sorts of inferior and dangerous products, such as lead-filled toys, sulfurous drywall that forced people out of their new homes, pet food spiked with melamine, and poisonous heparin that killed Americans in surgery. When California bought Chinese steel to renovate the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in 2002, we were hit with so many faulty connections and delays that the problems ate up the alleged savings expected from buying cheap Chinese steel. China itself has had six of its own bridges collapse in the last couple of years due to shoddy construction. Every job China gains by selling us steel is an American job lost. It's time that Americans repudiate the globalists and free traders.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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