Boycott China?

I am reblogging my “Boycott Communist China” post of 5 August 2021 to pose the same question I asked back then: Why are we still trading and doing business with an oppressive police state?

The Wall Street Journal (November 28, 2022)

prior probability

Given the cover-up of the Wuhan lab-leak, the crack-down against the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, and the atrocities in Xinjang province, why the heck are we still trading with China?

Boycott China - Boycott China - Magnet | TeePublic

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About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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3 Responses to Boycott China?

  1. Normatively, I know where you are coming from, but their comparative advantage in manufacturing is hard to beat.

    I use to work in the logistics industry, specifically goods being transported via transpacific corridor ( I even spent a couple of years working for the now defunct Korean firm Hanjin Shipping); cutting off Chinese trade would rattle the global economy. Most of the freight was coming out of Chinese ports.

    Alternative trading partners: maybe Vietnam, India ?

    • I hear you! On the one hand, I am all about free trade, which is also the best way to destablize dictatorships; on the other, US policy toward other oppressive states (Cuba, Iran, N. Korea) is not about free trade. Maybe trade boycotts don’t work (and actually help dictators to stay in power), but unless we are applying different trade policies as a kind of “natural experiment”, why the inconsistency?

      • The bigger question with a trade boycott would be how would such measure be coordinated?

        I certainly prefer consumers opting to not purchase Chinese goods over government measures. The transaction costs of voluntary coordination would be high.

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