business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Boston Globe this morning reports that he Chinese government has increased inspections of US foods being imported into that country, leading to a glut of items piling up in various warehouses. According to the story, “Authorities who used to inspect as little as 5 percent of imported goods now check every shipment of American poultry, snack foods, and other products, companies and trade groups say.”

The reason seems obvious – China is hoping to apply pressure to the US government, which is taking a hard line over a series of product safety issues that forced recalls of made-in-China items such as pet food, toothpaste and toys.

“The moves add to tensions in a relationship that is strained by China's multibillion dollar trade surplus with the United States,” the Globe reports. “Chinese officials have suggested the US government might be using safety concerns as an excuse to block imports from China.”
KC's View:
I can’t help but think that all the geopolitical back-and-forth has very little to do with the simple reality that for many American consumers, “made in China” has become a warning label. The government-to-government negotiations can do very little to solve that problem, or the resulting one – that more people than ever are going to think that country-of-origin labeling is a good, even necessary, idea.