My Personal Decoupling From China

Like many, I’ve made the decision to decouple from China. I’ve avoided food products, human and pet, for years given the plasticized pooches and what a scientist who tested such products told me they had found in almost everything.

The fact is, taking it to the level I want to is not going to be easy. The variety of products, from cooking utensils to electronics, produced in China is staggering. Some of what I’ve done recently is do some research window shopping. Many/most of the cooking utensils and household goods in the kitchen section of the brand-name grocery store come from China. Almost all the linens and related items at one big box store come in whole or in part from China. I was glad to find out that the rival big box store features linens and related from India.

I’ve also discovered that either made in China or made with materials from China can be hard to determine. In fact, where such a label is required, there is no requirement that it be easy to find. Some seem to take great delight in trying to make that as hard as possible.

Finally, the fact is that if you have to buy electronics right now, pretty much everything comes in whole or in majority from China. This will change, but for now, if you want to avoid Chinese products, it will be hard.

Hard, however, is not impossible. I know I really need to upgrade my phone, so I’ve made the decision to buy a used phone. This way, the money does not go to any multinational corporation, but a locally-owned small business (already have one in mind). Barring misfortune, I wait another year or two to upgrade my laptop; but, if not, used.

If enough people do the same, and also let the major computer/electronics businesses know what we are doing and why, they will get the hint. Some are already looking to at least move assembly to other countries around the world, and it’s a start. Bet it accelerates if new products stall and the used market booms.

For everything else, I’m doing my best not to buy Chinese. In fact, what I am doing is buying products made in Taiwan as often as I can. It’s a way to support them, and hopefully expand their market here. Again, one person won’t make that much difference, but if enough people start doing it and letting retailers know that we won’t buy Chinese but will buy Taiwanese…

The only way I plan to buy anything from China is if it is an emergency (can’t live/work without said products) and there is no other source. I will pay more to not buy Chinese at need. Note the parenthetical phrase — emergency, not inconvenience.

Yes, I know that for now I will end up having to buy some things from China, simply because there is no other source for some things. But, I will keep it to a minimum and push for retailers and others to find other sources.

Again, if enough of us do it…