In an April 18th episode of the O’Reilly Factor entitled “Fighting the Terrorists the American Way”, Bill O’Reilly called for viewers to boycott Canada and China. Well, not in so many words, but you be the judge:
Americans buy $210 billion worth of Canadian stuff every year, $50 billion more than they buy from us. So, do the math. If we stop buying Canadian, they’re in major trouble up. [sic] Thus, it is you, the American consumer, that holds a tremendous amount of power in the world. I believe Americans must begin to use that power.
Take China, for example. The United States needs that country to persuade North Korea to drop the nukes. China provides North Korea with energy and food and can absolutely destroy Kim Jong-Il’s government if it wants to. Americans buy $125 billion worth of Chinese stuff every year, $103 billion more than they buy from us. So, if Americans stop buying Chinese goods, China sinks into economic depression, and the way to encourage China to help stabilize the world is obviously economic.
One can see how O’Reilly is opening up the possibility of a boycott, similar to when he called for a boycott of French products. Sadly, The O’Reilly Factor is the number one cable “news” program in the United States. Its fanatical viewership takes O’Reilly’s word as fourth only to God, Jesus and George W. Bush. The supposed success of O’Reilly’s boycott of French products confirms this.
A boycott of Canadian and Chinese goods would be largely futile for three main reasons. First, Americans will not be able to replace those hundreds of billions of dollars of imports with products from elsewhere. Second, many of those imported goods are used as components in other American-made goods. Third, many of those imports are from American subsidiaries within Canada and China.