Imports / Exports

Discussion in 'Shopping & Sales' started by Ken Anderson, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    The Downeast region of Maine is a blueberry growing area. That's one of the few industries in the area. This year, we've been hearing that blueberry prices are so low that the blueberry industries are devastated. Yes, I can see that blueberry prices are lower than usual in the stores but pretty much the only blueberries that I can find are labeled, "Product of Canada."

    Maine's Aroostook County is a potato growing area. We even lease a potato field that we own to a potato grower. Yet, while I can find Maine-grown potatoes in the market, they cost more than potatoes from Idaho or Canada, which are the bulk of the potatoes in our stores. With potatoes, though, I can stop at a farm stand and buy directly from the grower, but Downeast is too far for me to go to buy blueberries.

    When I lived in California, I didn't pay attention to where produce came from but I know that the citrus industry was big in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, yet nearly all the citrus fruit we had in the stores were from Florida.
     
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  2. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Supreme Member
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    I would say that, whenever possible, support your local growers. It may be that Canada subsidizes the export of agricultural products to your area. It is one of the many things that Trump is addressing with our neighbor. I cannot address the issue of potatoes from Idaho being marketed in Maine unless it involves a corporate contract with the stores in your area. If you can, contact local growers or your state agriculture officials if you can. You and I have the advantage of living in low-population states where personal contact is possible and significant. Perhaps you could try to organize state-sponsored farmer's market, such as I have seen in North Carolina and produce from Downeast and the fisheries could be direct-marketed in your area.
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    What I was told by the store manager is that it has to do with the larger contracts that Idaho growers are able to enter into, versus Maine's growers. Everything comes to the local markets from the central distributing point so even if a bag of potatoes is grown ten miles from here, the potatoes will be trucked to Iowa or wherever the distributing point is before being trucked back here for sale.
     
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  4. Vinny Waccio

    Vinny Waccio Very Well-Known Member
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    I was a licensed Customs House Broker and Freight Forwarder as well as a Logistics consultant. My entire adult life has been involved with import/export. Most people would be surprised to learn how many things they own are not from America. Even the Made in America part is loosely applied. You can import all the parts and assemble in America and say it was made in America. Many of our cars come from Canada and are said to be made in America due to Free trade agreements.

    The truth is that it has been tested over and over again that when it comes to actually buying things, people will buy according to price, even those that say buy only made in America things. Most are unaware that the major Japanese Car Manufactures are making many popular models in the US using US labor an parts while we are sending our cars to Mexico and Canada for work. I used to set up programs for these companies to get their electronics from Mexico under NAFTA and establishing their plants as Foreign Trade Zones so that they can qualify for made in America. Try to name a TV brand that is made in America? There are none. Same can be said of many things we own.

    A TV news show decided to prove a point and selected a family who was compensated to allow them to remove all items in the house that had foreign parts in them. At the end they were left with a coffee machine and an empty house. A week later they retracted their final report when it was discovered that the coffee maker had one foreign part in it. Buy American means paying a lot more for the same or less quality that you can get elsewhere.

    Most in the USA are not aware of all the jobs created by importing goods. Trucking, warehousing, freight forwarding, Customs Brokers, air an ocean terminal operators, longshoremen, Insurance, lawyers, banks and more are all very involved in importing. So every job you may keep in a made in America plant can eliminated a job in another American company that deals with imports. In effect you are robbing one pocket to feed the other. Just that most Americans are very ill informed about importing and exporting along with all the industries and jobs that it creates. The best part is that aside from creating jobs for Americans, it gives the consumer lower prices. We need to wake up and realize that we are in a global economy where even military goods are bought from foreign countries. What we need is more exports since there is a demand for American goods and that creates jobs in both manufacturing and the export industry. However, a trade war kills that. It may save a few jobs in industries, but most times it causes other American jobs to be lost.

    A steel producer will benefit from high import duties on foreign steel but do not think that it will mean lower prices to all the other industries that buys that Steel and makes things from it. What actually happens is now that the US Steel producers have no more competition, they can sell their steel for even higher prices. However, politicians who know little sell a bill of goods to the citizens and make it sound like we are saving jobs and reducing prices.

    I have seen this over 48 years in the business as one of the so called worldwide experts on the topic in my field. The ignorance of politicians about international trade is staggering and even when you show them the harm they are doing with trade policies, they are more interested in how it appears to the uninformed voters than how it affects industries. It all boils down to by raising import duties you reduce competition for US companies and allows them to sell for as much as they can. If anyone thinks that a US company will not increase prices when their foreign competition is eliminated by a trade ware, they do not know what really goes on,
     
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  5. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    I am just reading an article from Forbes Magazine, and they are predicting that we might have reached the end of China as the mass-producer of goods to the world. People have grumbled for a long time about the poor quality of items that are made in China, but since most of things seem to do the job, and are cheap, we keep on buying from them.
    Now that the COVID-19 has pretty much stopped international shipping, or at least slowed it down, Forbes says that they do not think that China is going to regain what it has lost as a shipping power.
    So..... if China engineered this whole virus thing, with the idea of putting America “out of business “ (so to speak), they might have done their own self more damage than they did to America.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrap...ina-as-global-manufacturing-hub/#27c75afb5298
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Initially, I saw that as one advantage to the virus, that we might be able to get our industry back. Then, our own government decided to hand the wand back to China by shutting the US down even while China was getting back to work.

    While I agree that people are willing to kick China to the curb right now, the powers behind those who shape public opinion in the United States are on China's side. You can see that in the decision to change the way in which viruses are made, to call it COVID-19 rather than the Wuhan Virus, to leave China out of it, and the fact that even those who we'd think would be on our side are going along with it. Note that Starbucks just announced a new facility in China. I think we can expect to see more US companies taking pride in bringing their production back to China.

    Japan is making a bid for taking this role back from China, I know. But, for some reason, the people behind the media and much of our government are in the tank for China.
     
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