American Jobs Threatened by Cheap Chinese Condoms

With the American economy in turmoil, the government has decided to drop a long-standing contract with a U.S. company and give it to a foreign one, the Kansas City Star reported.

In a move that will cost around 300 American jobs, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has decided to purchase condoms from foreign companies — in countries like South Korea and China — because they cost less than American-made prophylactics, the Star reported.

The agency distributes billions of condoms to poor countries around the world, but has previously used only American-made condoms because of "Buy American" regulations, the Star reported. The stimulus bill that recently passed in Congress, however, does not include that provision for condoms.

A USAID official told the Star that the agency considered the jobs that would be lost, but that the foreign condoms cost about 2 cents. American ones cost about 5 cents.

Alatech, an Alabama company that had been USAID's previous sole supplier, protested the contract's move, but the Government Accountability Office rejected the compliant saying the company had no standing, the Star reported.

Condom factory workers are unhappy about the move.

“We pay taxes down here, too, and with all this stimulus money going to save jobs, it seems to me like they should share this contract so they can save jobs here in America,” Fannie Thomas, who has worked at Alatech for 40 years, told the Star.

“I’ve made condoms here for 20 years,” Cindy Robinson, a $9.50-an-hour employee at Alatech, told the Star. “I understand why they bid the contract overseas, but they should buy American first, and I feel they are going back on their word.”

Click here to read more on this story from The Kansas City Star.