This comment was made at Macrobusiness (link may be locked – but there is a free trial available)
It is not really surprising that we are finding diseased, and unhealthy goods entering the country considering the open door policy we currently have with regard to unhealthy and unproductive capital inflows.
What is ironic is that we actually have more regulations restricting the entry of local goods into the market. In effect we have quasi quarantine laws that ONLY apply to domestic goods. Liberalising trade is a good thing providing that two things are kept in mind.
1. It does not mean lowering rational and justifiable standards of public health and worker safety.
2. It does not mean allowing countries to manipulate the trade relationship with predatory and unproductive capital exports.
Fairly simple and modest restrictions on trade that only a neo-liberal free trade fundamentalist would object to.
What do you mean “calling out China”
The issue was local farmers complaining that standards that apply to them are not being applied to China.
What you seem to be suggesting and with considerable merit is that our existing standards are still not high enough or in some areas are non existent.
That supports what I am saying that liberalised trade in goods must be subject to justifiable standards of public health and worker safety.
Apply those standards to local goods and to goods from off shore equally.
In a sense apply a uniform system of ‘quarantine’ to restrict from the market, goods from any source that do not comply.
….. and that goes for grubby blight infected capital flows as well ……
“….fixes your grubby capital flows and sorts out my food quality argument….