Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reaction to Professor Navarro's China Bashing: We Get What We Paid For

Due to the melamine scare many Chinese parents buy 
milk powder in foreign supermarkets;
such as Walmart, or in Hong Kong
Photo Danny Friedmann
July last year I posted a blog about professor Peter Navarro who questioned whether profit making is the only goal of Chinese counterfeiters, read here. Now IP Dragon likes provocative straight forward opinions that do not need to be always politically correct, but the title of professor Navarro's book "Death by China" is a bit too negative, and too little nuanced for this blogger.

One should never judge a book by its cover, I know, but as far as I understood professor Navarro's thesis, see here, is based on three parts: counterfeiting kills, China's mercantilism "kills" jobs, and military buildup could become lethal. About the counterfeiting part:

Yes, most lethal counterfeited products come from China, because most counterfeited products come from China. However, if a product is imported into another country, it is that country's responsibility. Therefore customs should have more resources to make sure the products that enter are safe. This will make the imported products more expensive, yes. But many products coming from China are still too cheap. Why, because hidden costs are not factored in, and we will be presented the bill later on.
  • Health and safety costs;
  • Environmental costs;
  • Labour costs.
Because of many reasons covered on this blog China's protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights is challenged. And these problems do not go away anytime soon. So if China cannot guarantee product safety, the countries that import from China (that is about all countries) should take that responsibility in their own hands and rigorously and massively test products.

No comments: