Unknown Asian nation vaults from nowhere into second place among America’s trading partners in second quarter of 2019. Geographically challenged President Trump welcomes new commercial relationship with heretofore non-existent nation.
June 27, 2019
By Andrew Squibley and Arthur Bushwhacker, Refuse to Supply Their DNA to Public Databases
“Democracy Dies in Darkness — so Democracy is Moving to Motel 6”
WASHINGTON, DC (RUETERS) – In a bid to avoid potentially crippling US tariffs imposed by President Trump, China has begun mislabeling its products as “made in Chinam,” according to import-export officials throughout Asia.
The president, however, not recognizing the ruse or believing his intelligence agencies that Chinam “isn’t a thing,” Rueters learned, has warmly welcomed America’s “newest trading partner.”
“Chinam is a wonderful place. Melania and I have vacationed there several times. The weather is phenomenal, just really great, there. It’s so small but it’s got great warmth and they really like rich Americans.
“I expect to meet unofficially with representatives of Chinam in between my other meetings at the G20 summit this weekend” in Japan, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One.
“We’d like them to consider buying wheat from us. Lots of wheat in Iowa and Florida. We’re always looking for new customers on trips like these,” No. 45 said en route to the G20. “I bet the Chinamese would love our Florida wheat.”
While Trump fondly remembers his visits to a fictitious country, Chinam, American customs officials working at major US ports of entry have been ordered to more aggressively examine products’ certificates of origin. They’ve been alerted to watch for labels that look “doctored” although such changes are often difficult to spot.
American customs officials have been alerted to watch for “doctored” product labels claiming country of origin is “Chinam.” Altered labels can be difficult to identify, as in the example above, “because we’re dealing with some pretty sneaky guys,” one official told Rueters.
Chinese firms change the labeling on packages before exporting the goods to the United States, Japan or Europe, export officials said. “Dozens” of products have been identified, a Vietnamese Customs Department official told Rueters, and goods like textiles, fishery products, agricultural products, steel, aluminum, and processed wooden products were most vulnerable to the fraud.
Vietnamese state media noted that in 2017 customs agents exposed a company called INTERWYSE for trying to rebrand 600 Chinese-made speakers and phone chargers with a “Made in Chinam” label.
In 2017, a company called Interwyse was exposed for falsifying origin of products. Counterfeit product labels like this one are virtually impossible to detect, officials say.
“It was a very sophisticated operation. You can barely tell on this electronics product code how INTERWYSE made the switch,” a Japanese customs expert told Rueters.
“Countries around the world will blame not just China for labeling fraud, but potentially other countries like us, and retaliate with tariffs on our products,” the Japanese official said.
“This illegal and dangerous behavior by the Chinese potentially will sabotage brands and products globally — and it will also affect consumers. We could even get tariff retribution from other countries, and if that happens, it will hurt our economy,” according to the customs official.
Asia isn’t the only region where tariff disputes are flaring up. The Orange Menace remains suspicious of all things Mexican (rapists, gang members, judges, snot-nosed toddlers housed in cages), so has instructed customs and border patrol agents to carefully inspect imports for product origin labels.
In an effort to circumvent US inspectors, the Mexicans are claiming the origin of their products to be Texico. So far, the hoax has saved American consumers (the ones who actually pay the tariffs), tens of millions of dollars.
“Texico, unlike its neighbor Mexico, is a trusted trading partner,” Trump recently told congressional leaders.
Even Europe has been caught up in the tariff wars. The continent’s third largest economy, Italy, reacting to rumors it might be next on Trump’s tariff hit list, has been proactive in its defense. From this month forward, Italian products will be labeled “Made in Bitaly.”
“All we have to do is remind Trump what a great time he and Melania had in Bitaly and I think we’ll be — how do you Americans say? — home free,” said Italian customs chief Fabio Brigante.