I am a New Jersey resident and taxpayer living in Morris County. I am also a supporter of human rights, particularly in China because I believe that our state government’s involvement in sister state agreements (through the New Jersey Commerce & Economic Growth Commission) with provinces in China (specifically Shanghai and Tianjin) indirectly supports the ongoing slave labor prevalent in China as well as the illegal exports of products made by slave labor to the state of New Jersey.
Our state government’s relationship with China supports overseas slave labor or cheap labor rather than focusing on relationships with businesses here in New Jersey to encourage economic stability and growth for New Jersey residents. It may very well be cheaper for us as taxpayers to have our state government maintain this sister relationship with local Chinese governments, but at what cost to innocent people who don’t deserve to suffer, so that our state can get some cheap products.
There must be a better way!
When local and state governments and other New Jersey citizens are presented the details of the slave labor conditions in China, the typical response is that it does not have anything to do with us or there is nothing we can do about that since it is an international matter.
I think this response is due to a lack of understanding and education. While we stay consumed with our own local matters, we fail to realize that our problems at the local level are deeply connected to what goes on internationally.
It’s called the trickle-down effect. If citizens of all states don’t start taking an interest in what is happening globally and join together as one body, the local problems will become increasingly worse.
In reviewing this blog and some of the postings, there are concerns about various legislation and pending bills, which more than likely stem from actions being taken on a more global level. The very people we seek resolutions from are the same people who maintain a national and global connection.
There are companies right here in New Jersey that have factories in China because of the opportunities for cheap labor, or the opportunity for slave labor. These very same companies then illegally transport their slave labor goods to New Jersey and other states where it is sold in numerous department stores and other establishments. http://www.theepochtimes.com/n…
For example, a Chinese American New Jersey resident named Charles Lee was forced to make products manufactured by a Hackensack, NJ company while he was illegally imprisoned in a Chinese labor camp. www.freechinamovie.com He was a U.S. citizen and New Jersey resident visiting China at the time that he was imprisoned. Why is this not considered a local problem? One of New Jersey’s citizens was persecuted and used as slave labor for a New Jersey company.
New Jersey has maintained a business/sister relationship with Zhejiang Province, China since 1981. These sister relationships are foreign trade agreements. http://www.nj.gov/njbusiness/i…
Our state is engaging in international affairs with our tax dollars, yet we as citizens and local governments fail to see any connection locally.
And the trade is most likely illegal pursuant to Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, which prohibits the importation of goods produced by convict, forced or indentured labor.
I think we as New Jersey citizens and local governments need to have a more global perspective when we address legislative decisions being made in our state and have more of a sense of the bigger picture. We need to hold our politicians accountable for decisions made on a national or global level, which greatly impact us at the local level.
The fact that our tax dollars are more than likely funding the foreign trade agreement between New Jersey and China is cause enough for alarm, not to mention the underlying illegal nature of the business relationship.
Arleen Richards, Esq, Mountain Lakes, NJ
Volunteer for New Tang Dynasty TV (co-producer of Free China movie)