What US Consumers Think of Chinese Products Now…

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Political leaders everywhere—whether elected or unelected (as in China) –obviously care about public opinion. In this Olympic year, China’s leaders are arguably more attuned to foreign perceptions of their country than ever before. They should thus be interested in the following survey results from John Zogby, who runs a well known polling shop in the US.
It’s a detailed poll about US consumers’ reaction to Chinese products in the wake of many of the recent quality scandals that Chinese suppliers have suffered. The results speak for themselves:

Zogby Poll: 82% concerned about buying goods from China

. Survey finds that while 69% believe non-food products from China are safe, just 30% are as confident about food imported from China


The recent warnings and recalls about toxic toothpaste, tainted pet food, contaminated seafood and lead paint-laced toys from China haven’t gone unnoticed by American consumers – the vast majority of Americans (82%) said they are concerned about purchasing goods from China in the wake of many media reports about faulty goods from that country, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows. 
The survey was conducted before the announcement of a massive recall of Chinese-made toys by Fisher-Price, but after a significant recall of Chinese-made railroad toys sold under the Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway brand name. Both companies recalled the products because they contained excessive levels of lead on the toys and parts.
 Despite media reports raising safety concerns about Chinese goods, 69% said they are confident the non-food products they purchase from China are safe – but 20% aren’t so sure. Asked about their confidence in the safety of food products from China, 59% said they are not confident that foods from China are safe to eat. Just 30% said they are confident the food products they purchase from China are safe, while 12% said they were unsure, the online survey shows.
These findings are included in the August issue of Zogby’s American Consumer newsletter, which focuses on how Americans feel about imported goods, product safety, food labeling and many other issues and is available now at http://www.zogby.com . The Zogby Interactive survey of 4,508 adults nationwide was conducted July 17-19, 2007 and carries a margin of error of +/- 1.5 percentage points. Other findings from the nationwide survey include:

* Nearly two-thirds (63%) said they would be likely to participate in a boycott of Chinese goods until the country implements stricter safety regulations.
* 61% said they would be more likely to purchase a product with a “China Free” label.
* 86% believe cost is the primary motivator for most American consumers.
* One in three respondents would be willing to pay four times as much for a made-in-America children’s toy. Another 42% would be more likely to purchase a toy shipped in from overseas because of the cost savings.
* When tainted goods and unsafe products make their way to U.S. shelves, 37% blame foreign manufacturers and 30% say U.S. import companies are most at fault. Another 17% believe the U.S. government isn’t doing enough to stop these items from entering the country, while 7% believe foreign governments are to blame.

 While some Chinese leaders have claimed the U.S. is exaggerating the problems with Chinese goods in order to discredit them as a trading partner, 72% discount this claim. Americans are split over how seriously the Chinese government is taking reports of recent safety recalls of products imported to the U.S. from China. While 45% believe the Chinese government is taking the recalls seriously, 46% remain skeptical. China has pledged to take steps to tighten regulations on its food processors, while claiming its exports are safe – but many Americans (51%) are unconvinced. But 43% believe China will take the appropriate steps to significantly reduce the country’s food safety issues.
The vast majority (89%) believes the U.S. government should put stronger pressure on China and other foreign countries to increase product quality and safety standards, while nearly as many (85%) would support the U.S. government imposing stronger criminal penalties and fines on U.S. importers who allow dangerous products to be imported from foreign countries.
Half (49%) of the respondents in this latest Zogby Interactive poll said they will continue to buy products from China while 43% said it is not very likely or not at all likely they will continue to buy Chinese products. Whatever shoppers’ intentions, following through could be a challenging task. We asked respondents how difficult they would expect it to be to not buy items from China for one week, given their typical shopping habits and the prevalence of products from China currently in the U.S. market place – 53% said they would expect avoiding the purchase of Chinese goods to be a difficult task, while slightly less (43%) don’t believe it would be a problem.

For a detailed methodological statement on this survey, the link is here :