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I favor free-trade and don’t consider myself to be an isolationist, but enough is enough. First we learn that Chinese-made ingredients in pet food are killing our pets. Next we learn that Chinese-made toothpaste is toxic. Recently, we learned that Thomas the Tank Engine toy trains contain enough lead paint to cause permanent brain damage to toddlers who might chew on the toys. Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that Chinese tire manufacturer, Hangzhou Zhongce, is intentionally making dangerous tires. The Chinese company admits that in November 2006 it decided to omit gum strips in the tires which are designed to prevent the tires from separating.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is outraged that an American company that imports these tires waited more than two years to report its suspicion that Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber eliminated the gum strips from the manufacturing process. A lawsuit filed in May alleges that an accident caused by tread separation in a Hangzhou tire killed two construction workers and severely injured a third when a van rolled over. The New York Times also reports on an earlier incident in which an ambulance rolled over after its Chinese-made tire tread separated. Our federal authorities characterize the Chinese manufacturer as being “generally unresponsive” when asked how many tires were made without the gum strips. The federal government either does not have the authority or the will to protect us from unreasonably dangerous Chinese products. I’ve even heard reports that Chinese green tea is made with tea leaves that have been dried by spreading them on the floor of a wharehouse and driving trucks over them, using the truck exhaust as the drying mechanism. The Chinese still use leaded gasoline! The solution is for consumers to be vigilant and buy American!

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Defective and Dangerous Products.

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