Florida City Considers A Ban On Anything Made In China

Palm Bay, Florida is irritated with China. They’re considering a ban that would prevent the city from buying anything made in China…. with a few exceptions:

The ordinance would prevent the city from buying any items costing more than $50 that are manufactured or assembled in China or that contain more than 50 percent components from China. Exceptions are for emergency purchases, if the item is not available otherwise or if the cost is more than 150 percent higher.

The ordinance was proposed by Mayor John Mazziotti. “We are losing jobs left and right to them,” Mazziotti said.

The ordinance explains that Chinese products hurt the American economy and “there is a complete lack of environmental, health and safety standards in product manufacturing in China.”

Palm City, Florida must be a lovely place to live with no real problems for the mayor to solve. We should all move there.

Palm Bay considers ban on China goods [Florida Today via Fark]

Comments

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  1. LikwidFlux says:

    “Exceptions are for emergency purchases, if the item is not available otherwise or if the cost is more than 150 percent higher.”

    I STAND FIRM ON THIS DECISION…… unless it’s really really cheap, then it’s ok.

  2. Sidecutter says:

    So things coming from other incredly cheap countries to produce in, like Korea or the Phillipines, must be magically OK. I guess the areas around the production plants in those other outsourced production countries are magical parks, where wild deer roam free and feed from the employees’ hands. I mean, they wouldn’t engage in anything bad for the environment or show blatant disregard for safety standards in exchange for a generous few pennies per hour, because they’re not China. Right?

  3. MPHinPgh says:

    I dunno…seems like a reasonable first step…

    Maybe not perfect, but it’s a start. I commend him.

  4. William Mize says:

    As a Floridian, I apologize in advance on behalf of my entire state, for our incessant ability to come up with craziness such as this.

  5. Razzler says:

    So everyone’s happy to slam China in Poison Train stories, but when there’s a story about people actually attempting to do something feasible about the problem, we mock them for their xenophobia?

  6. othium says:

    @Razzler: True. It doesn’t seem work by simply asking companies to change. There has to be a financial incentive for them to do so.

  7. 5cents says:

    I lived in Palm Bay for 5 years. It’s certainly not a lovely place to live and the mayor certainly has more stuff to worry about other than the onslaught of Chinese goods.

  8. RogerDucky says:

    Computers, copiers, etc. for example, are almost always “Made in China” in whole or in part. There aren’t alternatives for that, either. So that’d make it through the exception.

    Clothing, like uniforms and such? Sure. But like SIDECUTTER say, they’ll probably just buy things made from someplace else.

    “Dangerous binders” and such from Wal*Mart? Well, they’re $50 or less. So they’d make it through.

    Cars? Well, it’s not like Chinese cars are sold over here, anyway. Car parts? Sure. Except that the parts might just be 150% cheaper than competing parts… ($300 vs. $130 for a recent part I had to replace…) so that’d make it through, too.

    So, what, exactly, would a city buy that WOULDN’T make it through the exceptions?

  9. Antediluvian says:

    I think it’s a good idea, but in practice, so damn much of the stuff we use every day is made in China it’s impossible to divorce yourself from it. And not ALL Chinese-made products are bad — just like not ALL US-made stuff is good.

    I’d suggest instead a proposal to shun WalMart (unless some sort of state-of-emergency happens and say, everything else is closed or out of stock).

  10. ooolam says:

    This is just crazy! The economy of both China and US are heavily relying on each other. A product that costs only $1 to make in China is selling for over $20 in here. Companies here in the US are benefited from the high profit margin, so that they can distribute their profits to their employees, which is us. That’s why our labor rate is higher than many other countries. If we would have to produce everything here in the country, the cost would be so high and the profit margin would be much lower. Are anyone of you willing to take a pay cut while product cost is going up? The correct way to address the issue is to work closely with China for a win-win solution. I don’t see how Mayor John Mazziotti’s proposal can do any constructive support to our economy.

  11. Javert says:

    @Sidecutter: I think the law is designed not to so much protest labour conditions as it is to keep people, their kids, and/or pets from being poisoned.

  12. supra606 says:

    Honestly I don’t see how this affects anything. EVERYTHING is made in China so they’re either going to buy from China or go without. Ok so that’s a bit of a stretch – but seriously I can’t see much coming from this.

  13. ARP says:

    Sidecutter- I agree China is one of many countries where this is a problem.

    I know you all hate more government. But we should be leveling the playing field by developing a tariff systems based on the rules we follow. It’d work like this. Each country we trade with would get a scored on a few measures: worker saftey standards, wage standards, currency valuation, environmental standards, civil rights, etc. We can weight to emphasize some things more than others. So, the worse the overall score, the heavier the tariff to “offset” the fact that they’re not playing by the same rules.

  14. girly says:

    I have a feeling that very little of the profits go to employees (just a token to justify).

    I think it is the standard of living here that’s forcing companies to pay anywhere near decent.

    Wish I could remember where I saw this : “one for you, two for me, one for you, three for me, one for you…”

  15. forever_knight says:

    @Razzler: i agree with your comment.

    seems that the consumerist is all about the chinese poison train but an attempt, however small, to do something about the offshoring of this country is mocked by the same site.

    talk about mixed messages, consumerist.

  16. legotech says:

    Someone recently wrote a book called A Year Without China where she and her family spent a year not buying anything made in China…might be an interesting read for the Mayor.

  17. FLConsumer says:

    In that case….what would possibly be available for sale in that town? Just looking around my desk here, that means: my ink cartidges, rechargable batteries, stapler, clock, pens, trackball, and more all say “Made in China” on them. While I appreciate his sentiment, it’s misdirected. The problems we’ve seen were with AMERICAN companies manufacturing their products in China. Go after those AMERICAN companies first.

    If this were to become a widespread phenomenon, they’d just make the parts in China and assemble it elsewhere, skirting the law.

  18. Techguy1138 says:

    This law looks pretty reasonable to me.

    I was going to take exception with the less than $50 rule since most objects would be made in China. It would be nice to write into law that people should *try* to buy non-china,pens, binders and etc. But this law is written in a way you can simply order a box of pens if you need it.

    It doesn’t tie the hands of workers in an emergency.

    It doesn’t allow for a huge ripoff by setting a maximum price difference ceiling.

    It also defines how much of a product can be made in China before it qualifies as a Chinese product.

    It’s a good law. Well reasoned and thoughtful.

    I just wish that instead of banning Chinese products they instead promoted American ones. I remember when the Federal government used to buy US first,before Regan. Now those fat government budgets are shipped overseas.

  19. not_seth_brundle says:

    @FLConsumer: The proposal is to prevent the city itself from buying Chinese products, not to ban the sale of Chinese products in stores.

  20. PalmBayChuck says:

    Notice my name :) I actually live here.

    First of all, dont get your panties in a wad. This is a recommendation by the mayor. It still has to be voted upon.

    This is exactly how local government should work. And I find it interesting that the Mayor, or the whole town is tarred with the title, “Xenophobic” because this has come up. What ever happend to “Buy American”. It’s good for any nation to patronize local businesses.

  21. royal72 says:

    if this passes and makes it’s way around the country, i won’t be buying any american products costing more than $50, that are manufactured or assembled in america or that contain more than 50% components from america.

    wtf and why you may be saying? well for the simple reason i don’t need you, mayor whomever, congress, or anyone else telling me what to buy. when i need something, i will buy the best possible product from the best possible company i can afford, regardless of originating country.

  22. jeff303 says:

    @FLConsumer: True. Let’s also go after the American companies that continue to buy from known tainted suppliers. Where’s the outrage against them?

  23. mandarin says:

    Maybe the Mayor can afford not to buy anything from China but what about the little people?

  24. txinfo says:

    @RogerDucky: Almost every Dell computer, keyboard, and mouse is assembled in China.

  25. txinfo says:

    @PalmBayChuck:

    What ever happend to “Buy American”?

    Once “American” products are worth a damn, then I will start buying them.

  26. MPHinPgh says:

    @txinfo: Almost every Dell computer, keyboard, and mouse is assembled in China.

    I was getting ready to say HP’s aren’t, then I lifted my laptop up to look at the underside, and guess what…

  27. harshmellow says:

    Several of you got yourselves in a huff over the proposal. Maybe you should re-read the post, because the proposal will dictate what THEY CITY buys, it does not dictate what the people that live there will buy. No, you have to move to the Bible Belt if you want others dictating what you can or cannot buy.

  28. RogerDucky says:

    @TXINFO: Actually, the majority of the components — like motherboards, cases, keyboards, memory, etc. are made in China. ALL major PC manufacturers assemble PCs in China, also. Check out http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2190684,00.asp for a relatively straightforward commentary on that.

    Because of the whole “will be able to buy if no other choices are available” exception, the city would be able to buy computers, etc. due to this rule.

    All the various exceptions makes this rule essentially useless, since nothing the city needs would really fall outside of the exceptions. A symbolic gesture is fine, but this just seems silly.

  29. miborovsky says:

    They should actually implement it and see tax rates go through the roof as they Buy American(tm) at 300% markup.

  30. Trumps says:

    Am i the only one who noticed this?

    “he ordinance would prevent the city from buying any items costing more than $50 that are manufactured or assembled in China”

    what from China costs more than $50. I thought we only got our cheap shit made there. At least 80% of the stuff from china is under $10!

  31. darkclawsofchaos says:

    I thought California would had been the first one with such a law

  32. im4marlins says:

    I’m at the City Council meeting in Palm Bay. I’ll post as soon as we have a decision one way or ther other. Should be some time around midnight at the pace their moving thru the agenda.

  33. asherchang says:

    you tag this article “Xenophobia”… but don’t examine your own
    careless coverage of the Chinese poison train and the xenophobic
    comments and sentiments it engendered.

  34. Onouris says:

    Ok so basically ban all Chinese products (yeah good luck on screwing over your city that way), unless the only alternative is 150% more expensive?

    Well that’s the ban lifted then.

    That was fun.

  35. shades_of_blue says:

    All I’m going to say is ‘what about shoes?’ Almost every shoe sold in Footlocker is ‘made in China’, good luck with that.

  36. Razzler says:

    @shades_of_blue:

    Why on earth would the city be buying shoes?

  37. ibelli says:

    Then get ready to not have “things.”

  38. jonworld says:

    Amazing Idea! How about bringing this up the pyramid a little and enacting a County, State or even Federal Law. This and a law banning oil usage (so we’re forced to switch to alternatives) would be my two dream laws to enact.

  39. ogman says:

    Sounds like a great idea. I’m ready to move there.