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Whenever I talk about importing from China and other Asian countries I tend to get some varied responses. There are the hardcore “I only buy made in America” patriots. Surely this is respectable to see things this way, on the other hand, it is an idea based from the industrial age of thinking. Nowadays, we are a part of a world economy, and in this world we have to fight even harder to claim our piece of the pie than ever before. The days of when importing was a risky move, it’s now an essential way of managing costs. But even if you talk about the idea of something being made in China, people still get all emotional about it, but why?

Fear & Faith
I believe there is still plenty of fear and worry since some products that come from China have been highly questionable in recent years. The biggest part of this problem is ourselves, we consume more and more stuff and we want to pay less and less for it. Businesses fight battles on all fronts and the hunt for a decent profit is all that really counts. If demand is high for low-cost goods then production is going to fluctuate to meet it. In a nutshell, if someone wants to source cheap products, odds are you will find someone to manufacture them. Geography is a thing of the past. In every field it is irrelevant. China cuts costs and it’s up to us as creators and designers to help them give us what we want. Most people are quick to blame the Chinese, whereas they should take a good long look in the mirror.

Labor
A big part of the importing game is knowing where you can lower your costs, in a couple of countries there are natural resources that are more abundant. The cost of labor also varies greatly as you understand the world. Currently, Chinese factory workers earn less than a dollar. That is a fraction of a fraction of your typical American worker. Cheap labor doesn’t mean the quality of the product has to suffer, once more, if you thoroughly explain your designs you will have a better grasp on quality.

Standards
The Chinese people are human beings like everybody I have met in the good old USA. They are great to work with and have a deep respect for others. You will always experience bad business in any part of the world. Remember, for thousands of years China was the source of the finest materials in the world. A high standard is a part of their business and life. The masses want high quality, but there will always be a small percentage that messes it up for the rest of the industry. Take pride in what you’re doing and it will return tenfold.

Summary
So how does this make you feel? Like I said in previous posts, if you design well and source from a manufacturer that makes your products to your exact specifications, you will never have a problem. China knows what it takes to make a good design, so you have a greater return by giving them something to create and then handle the finer details right here in America.