The growing frustration with China amid the coronavirus pandemic has brought some to suggest that Americans should put an end to purchasing Chinese products.
This week, founder and president of Turning Point USA Charlie Kirk tweeted his aggravation with China when he said that Americans who love their country will stop their purchasing of Chinese products. This gained plenty of attention on Twitter.
While most do not disagree holding China accountable for their poor handling of COVID-19, resulting in many countries across the globe having to be under a lockdown, it is unrealistic to expect Americans to refrain from buying any products that were manufactured in China.
Chinese products are more affordable than products made in the United States, making it a smart financial move to purchase products from China. Those in poverty are especially inclined to purchase cheaper Chinese products as they do not have the financial flexibility to be picky about where their merchandise originally came from. These individuals are struggling as is, so making a political statement at the expense of their bank account may not be in their best interest.
Online shopping platforms that ship products from China, like AliExpress, are even cheaper than buying Chinese made products from stores like Target or Walmart. These shopping sites benefit consumers greatly as they provide the same quality product at a reduced rate. Americans would not be wise to give up great prices in favor of “punishing” China.
Additionally, high quality products of all kinds are manufactured in China. Items that people use everyday come from China, such as products by Apple, Adidas, Lululemon, and Victoria’s Secret. A large quantity of goods are manufactured in China, especially lower priced items as the low labor costs there directly result in the products having a lower cost. As a result, it would be very difficult to avoid buying products that are manufactured in China, even for people who are not struggling financially.
It would not only be unwise to end all purchasing of Chinese products, it would also be ineffective in punishing China. As people on both ends of the political spectrum know, boycotting a person, business, or in this case, a country, just about never works as intended. Nike’s stock went down for a few days after conservatives claimed they would boycott amid a controversial ad featuring Colin Kaepernick, but that was the extent of it. Liberals called for the boycott of In-N-Out after finding out they donated to the Republican Party, but that had no negative lasting impact on business.
Electing to stop purchasing from a company or country can only make an impact if everyone is on board, which is not the case here.
It is understandable why people in the United States and beyond want to hold China accountable for their mishandling of COVID-19. However, the idea of ending Chinese purchasing would not do much damage as most people would not and could not get on board.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.