Over at Real Clear Politics, Robert Budway writes that Americans should be concerned about China’s growing toehold in our domestic food supply.

Nowhere is that more evident than when you go to an American retailer or supermarket and examine the country-of-origin label – displayed in tiny font – at the back of so many popular canned fruits and vegetables. You may be stunned to see ‘Made in China’ or ‘Product of China.’ Unlike a harmless Internet meme, cheap dress, or plastic trinket, increasing imports of Chinese canned food should be viewed as the start of a potential tsunami from across the Pacific that could destroy our farmers and food producers that make the everyday American brands we have grown to rely on to feed our families.

An exaggeration? A bit of hyperbole?


China is now the major supplier of canned food to American consumers. In fact, as Budway noted in his piece, those imports increased by 19% in the past year and that percentage is expected to grow. But do Americans know the truth about these imports?

As I wrote last month, imported food from China should concern Americans because China doesn’t have the same food safety requirements as American processed food companies. Nor are Chinese manufacturers required to pay or even treat their workers fairly. Yet sadly, our own government policies have made Chinese canned food more attractive to American consumers for one simple reason: it’s cheaper. 

Budway explains:

The indiscriminate imposition of Section 232 tariffs on a wide variety of steel products created consequences far from what was envisioned. For the canned food producers who fill the 20 billion steel cans made in the U.S. annually, these ‘national security’ tariffs are a canard that artificially inflated their products. ‘National security’ tariffs have in effect created food insecurity since imported foods come in tariff free. Our government has opened the door to cheaper canned corn, peas, peaches, and tomatoes from Brazil, Egypt, and, of course, China.

Budway warns that this goes beyond canned food choices in the grocery store and that these trade policies are creating multi-level challenges for American farmers, steel producers, and food manufacturers at a time when these American companies are already struggling economically. 

Additionally, farmers are under attack by radical green activists who want to do away with America’s agricultural system and as Budway notes, “the agricultural self-sufficiency that the nation has prided itself on…”

Budway concludes by reminding us that this is a “government-created threat” that can easily be reversed by policymakers. 

Consumers deserve better. It’s time to stop the harms created by Biden’s tariff policies that are contributing to the erosion of confidence and safety of our nation’s food supply.