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Clinton wants stronger product standards, competition with China

Clinton wants stronger product standards, competition with China

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton told a union group Monday that the United States should stop importing food and toys from China if the nation cannot guarantee safe products and said consumers need more American made choices when they shop.
She also criticized President George W. Bush for letting the United States get itself into a position of weakness with China by borrowing so much money from the county.
"It has really put the Bush administration at a disadvantage, because it's hard to be tough with your banker," Clinton said during a conference attended by 700 members of the International Association of Machinists.
"If they woke up tomorrow and decided to dump dollars, especially when we're in the middle of this mortgage crisis, interest rates would soar and everybody in this room would be affected by that. I don't like to give that kind of leverage to a foreign government," Clinton said to loud cheers.
The New York senator and former first lady also referred to the recent recalls of Chinese-made goods, like tainted toothpaste and toys made with lead paint.
"They've got to abide by the rule of law, they have to have labor, environmental, food safety, toy safety standards. And we have to be a lot tougher," Clinton said. "We should tell them that unless they put into place some kind of comparable mechanism to what we expect _ no lead in the toys, no magnets in the toys _ we're just not going to import toys."
The same goes with food, she said. Similarly, she said food products should contain labels listing their country of origin.
"Now that we have all these problems with unsafe food coming in from China, people deserve to know where their food comes from them," she said. "There needs to be a sign right there in the supermarket, so if you want to pay a few cents more for a great New York apple instead of an apple from China, you'll be able to do that."
Clinton said during the 1980s when she served on the board of Wal-Mart board, the company encouraged people to buy American-made products and gave them a choice.
She said people would still buy American products "if people had a choice, if they truly had a choice and they knew what the choice meant, if they knew that it made a rising standard of living for their neighbors."
It was under Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, that the U.S. normalized trade relations with China.
Questioned about the North American Free Trade Agreement that her husband negotiated with Canada and Mexico, she said it has not realized its promise and part of the reason why is lax enforcement. She said she would appoint a trade prosecutor to make sure agreements are enforced.
She was also applauded for criticizing Bush's inability to inspire the country.
"I waited after 9-11 for President Bush to say anything to inspire this nation, to summon us to be courageous, to summon us to action. Do you remember what he asked of us? Go shopping. I love to shop but that is hardly up there with President Kennedy and President Roosevelt," she said.


Updated : 2021-05-15 22:13 GMT+08:00