How raw material exports can backfire on U.S.

June 5, 2014 

Having recently returned from a vacation to the West Coast, there are some wonderful photos and memories to savor.

The beauty of eons of natural selection along the Snake and Columbia rivers through Washington, Idaho and Oregon are unique. The environmentally friendly use of hydropower, wind turbines and even solar panels is inspiring.

It was somewhat disturbing to observe some of the millions of tons of freshly cut timber, on trucks, trains and barges. However, it was learned that the giant Weyerhaeuser Company, after they harvest thousands of acres by clear cutting, they established a practical replanting program. It takes about 40 years for the seedlings to be harvested.

What is troubling is that our natural resource, timber, is shipped to the Asian market.

This and our other resources are shipped overseas and then cheap, non-union labor produces stuff to be sold in American big-box stores, again using cheap labor, subsidized by our taxes.

The excellent HBO "VICE" series recently exposed the fact that hundreds of Chinese brokers bid on scrap steel that is being removed from our abandoned factories.

In 1939, in New York City, the Second and Sixth Avenue Els were demolished and 20,000 tons of steel were shipped to a West Coast scrap dealer and allegedly shipped to Japan, although then Borough President Stanley M. Issacs denied that occurred.

At the time, the common conversation was that the Second Avenue El was delivered back to us, on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.

Sometimes, what goes around comes around.

Skip Hannon


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