Update on China's Version of Free Trade

By Phyllis Schlafly

“Free trade” has become an article of faith and a sort of mantra with many conservatives, but, as the old saying goes, “it takes two to tango,” and, indeed, it takes two countries to engage in free trade. Let me give you an update on Communist China’s version of Free Trade.

Millions of tons of Chinese drywall, or gypsum board, were imported into the United States during the building boom from 2004 through 2007. Thousands of homeowners discovered that the drywall installed in their new homes corroded metals, ruining copper plumbing, air conditioning, ventilation units, insulation, electrical wiring, and even flooring. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that Chinese drywall emits hydrogen sulfide. That’s a flammable gas that emits such an offensive rotten-egg smell that people were forced to move out of their homes. The houses have to be completely demolished and rebuilt from the ground up.

Thousands of Americans have filed lawsuits. A federal court in New Orleans just awarded $2.6 million in damages to 7 Virginia families who sued Taishan Gypsum Company, one of the Chinese state-owned drywall manufacturers. Other lawsuits are pending. However, no Chinese manufacturer has admitted responsibility and probably will deny or evade any court order for damages. Good luck to the people trying to collect restitution from Communist China.

Communist China recently imposed a second set of import tariffs on U.S. chicken products. U.S. companies face import duties ranging from 3.8% to 31.4%, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce. So, Free Trade according to the Communist Chinese means they can send us bad drywall but we get hit with high tariffs on the goods we send them.

Contributing Editor Phyllis Schlafly is the Founder and President of Eagle Forum. Used with permission.

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