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Americans start Boycott of France
Bill O'Reilly from the Fox News Channel (www.foxnews.com) has called from a complete boycott of French goods:
More than 50,000 people have responded to the Internet poll, and 93 percent support boycotting French goods, just 6 percent are opposed. [...]
I join Mr. O'Reilly in his boycott of France and I urge anyone who is outraged by France's protection of Saddam Hussein and its anti-American and anti-Israeli stance to do the same. Don't buy French products (look at the labels) and don't go on vacation in France.
I copy the full article below.
A Boycott of French Goods
Watch The O'Reilly Factor weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the Radio Factor!
BILL O'REILLY, HOST:
O'REILLY: In the Personal Story segment tonight, the French continue to hammer the USA over the Iraq situation.
And a poll on my Web site, billoreilly.com, says that Americans overwhelmingly want some payback. More than 50,000 people have responded to the Internet poll, and 93 percent support boycotting French goods, just 6 percent are opposed.
Because of the growing anti-French feeling in the USA, the Sofitel Hotel chain has lowered the French flag from its American properties, but we encourage Americans to stay at Sofitel or other French business properties that are staffed by Americans because we don't want to hurt our own countrymen.
So what I am calling for is a boycott of French goods in the stores. For example, if you buy Poland Spring bottled water instead of Evian, the store still gets the money. The question is will a citizens' boycott be effective.
Joining us now from Washington is John Magnus, an international trade attorney, and, from San Diego, Stephen Moore, the president of the Club for Growth.
Mr. Moore, I talked with you on the radio today. You believe that the boycott will be effective. How?
STEPHEN MOORE, PRESIDENT, THE CLUB FOR GROWTH: Well, I applaud you for what you're doingin leading this boycott, and count me as a supporter of it, Bill.
You know, we have bailed out France now three times in this century, in World War I, in World War II, and then in the Cold War, and -- and so France really does owe us a debt of gratitude. They should be a strong ally of U.S. and European national security, and yet what you have here is France undermining the national security of a country that's supposed to be a friend and an ally.
And so what -- what I support and, I think, what you support too, Bill, is the idea that American voluntarily -- and we're not talking about the government involvement one bit...
MOORE: ... but Americans voluntarily taking little pieces of patriotism by boycotting French goods until France changes its opinion and its position on the war with Iraq and ousting Saddam Hussein, and...
O'REILLY: OK. Where are the -- what are they...
MOORE: ... and that means not buying French perfume, not buying French champagne and products that will enrich the French people.
O'REILLY: All right. Now we have bottled water. We have...
O'REILLY: ... a lot of clothing, a lot of perfume, a lot of lingerie, you know, and we're getting into a dicey area here, Mr. Moore, with the lingerie.
But, anyway, do you agree with me that we shouldn't be punishing the hotel chains? Like Motel Six is owned by a French conglomerate. I don't want them to turn the light off because then the franchisees in America get hurt. So I just want people...
MOORE: Well, I -- I...
O'REILLY: Go ahead.
MOORE: I was just going to say I would extend it to any French product. After all, you can always go to an American hotel, and that can create more American jobs.
O'REILLY: Yes, but I don't want to put those people out of business. I just don't want to put them out of business.
MOORE: That's true, but, you know, if you choose an American hotel, you're putting more Americans to work than if you choose a French one. The main impact, by the way, Bill, that Americans can influence the French economy and issue their patriotic act of protest is to not go to France for vacation...
O'REILLY: That's right.
MOORE: ... because France is extremely...
O'REILLY: That's right.
MOORE: ... dependent on American tourists in the spring and summer seasons.
O'REILLY: Two-point-nine million, Mr. Moore, last year. That was down 20 percent...
O'REILLY: ... and I say it's going to be down another 50 percent. I think it will be down at least a million.
Now, Mr. Magnus, how do you see this?
JOHN MAGNUS, INTERNATIONAL TRADE EXPERT: Well, I think the problem is that it's not quite as easy as it might seem, particularly, as you pointed out, it would make sense to focus on French goods, but the vast bulk of what France sends to us is not identifiably French by the time it gets to consumers and would be very difficult to catch with a boycott.
You can get perfume, you can get alcoholic beverages, but the vast bulk of their exports are things like intermediate products, engine parts, chemicals, things that turn into other products that you cannot -- the information...
O'REILLY: All right. A quarter of the French imports to the United States -- and we ought to point out that France makes $9 billion a year in profit in trade with us -- $9 billion -- and we're their fifth largest trade partner.
But a quarter of the trade is in the aerospace industry. We buy their Airbuses. So, Mr. Magnus, I'm saying that we shouldn't buy their Airbuses, that our airlines should not order those and should go with Boeing. Am I wrong?
MAGNUS: The Airbuses are assembled in a number of different countries, and the component parts are also coming from a number of different countries, in some cases manufactured in the United States.
So it's not an entirely simple thing to say this is a French product that you could boycott. There's a good deal of U.S. value added and value added from -- from some our key allies, such as the United Kingdom, in those kinds of products.
That's why it's very difficult to take a product approach and make a boycott work. Yes, there are some low-hanging fruit, and you can impose some economic pain on France, but then I think you have to ask yourself what do you hope to accomplish with that and do you believe that it really stands any chance of turning around their behavior in the Security Council.
O'REILLY: Well, what it does is that it punishes Jacques Chirac's government for its obnoxious stance and its anti-Americanism and putting us all in danger. Now I have no...
O'REILLY: You -- you don't have a problem with that, Mr. Magnus, walking into a store and taking Poland Spring instead of Evian, do you?
MAGNUS: None at all, but I wouldn't kid myself that this is going to turn around their behavior in the Security Council. I think...
O'REILLY: Well, no.
MAGNUS: ... the...
O'REILLY: I -- it isn't. This is payback. This isn't trying to influence policy. This is payback. You know, I think...
MAGNUS: OK. Then in that case...
MAGNUS: In that case, it seems to me you should -- you should also think about the long-term harm that could be caused. You have a transatlantic relationship that is important to us that's in very bad straits right now, and the long-term effects that nobody can even imagine right now of what would happen of a reciprocal boycott -- and I think it would be reciprocal -- if it really got traction...
MOORE: But who's...
O'REILLY: You know, I'm willing to take that chance.
MOORE: But, John, who's -- who's doing the damage here to the relationship between France and the United States? They are supposed to be an ally of ours. Our national security is potentially at stake with respect to Saddam Hussein, and...
MAGNUS: They're absolutely not...
MOORE: When France does not come to our rescue, I think it's perfectly appropriate. And, John, you and I are both free traders. I'm very much in promoting free trade.
I don't want the government to get involved in telling Americans they can't buy these products, but I think voluntarily Americans saying we're not going to buy French products -- and the real issue is where do the profits go.
You're right that a lot of these products are produced all over the world, but in -- for the most part, when you're buying a French product, the -- the profits are going to French companies. I think this will hurt them in the pocketbook, and I...
O'REILLY: Well, it has to.
MOORE: ... think it...
O'REILLY: The French economy is only growing 1 percent a year, all right.
O'REILLY: You have 50-million Americans -- and I believe 50-million will get on the citizen boycott, Mr. Magnus. Fifty-million Americans say no way I'm buying any retail products from France because, as you said, a lot of things we can't know about and I -- I simply don't want to hurt the franchisees.
But, if they don't buy the perfume and they don't buy the champagne and they don't buy escargot imported, they're going to -- that's going to put them into a recession because they're almost there now, Mr. Magnus.
MAGNUS: It will be very satisfying. It will cause them economic pain in France. It will cause some industries to squeal to their government.
O'REILLY: You bet.
MAGNUS: But it will not change the course of their government's policy, and what it would risk doing is aggravating what's already a very bad problem in the bilateral relationship.
O'REILLY: Well, we don't...
MAGNUS: My view is that commerce over the long haul ought to be part of the healing process that actually addresses the...
O'REILLY: But the -- the healing process, Mr. Magnus, with all due respect, can only begin when the fairness process kicks in.
Gentlemen, thanks very much. Very interesting discussion. Of course, we'll let everybody make up their own mind.
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Yes, stay at home please.
Posted by: Phil at March 20, 2003 09:51 AM
France are allowed to have a differce of opinion. And France have backed the US in countless situations before now. A boycott is ludicrous and some anti-French comments seem to be verging on racism. How else do you explain a frog on a French flag?
And what of the vast majority of other countries opposed to the war? Germany, for instance. Or Russia? What about them? Or is it one rule for Russia and another for France?
Alienating France does nothing to help America's image a sthe upholder of free speech?
Whetehr I agree with it or notI am proud of their principled stand - it's rare these days. And I encourage Americans to take lots of lovely holidays to Paris, Burgunday and the Cote d'Azur - it's beautiful and the prople are very welcoming!
Posted by: Ben from the UK at March 31, 2003 03:13 AM
i love this site
Posted by: ogb at April 2, 2003 02:01 AM
Since when are the people of Paris "welcoming"? I had tickets to go to France, got rid of them like a hot potato, absorbed the disparity in price of buying and that of selling....seems very few want to experience the Parisian "Welcoming" Committee. I will boycott until there is nothing left to boycott. That country doesn't deserve one hard-earned American penny. You can call it 'rascist', I call it satisfying. Many Americans feel the same! I hope France RUES the day they dismissed, derided, and attempted to turn world opinion against us.
Posted by: Trudy at April 18, 2003 02:59 PM
Seems the French were right after all....
Posted by: Bob Thom at October 6, 2003 03:50 PM
Great Site! Keep up the good work!
Posted by: Dwayne at October 12, 2003 11:03 AM
I just want to say one thing. I am a French citizen and I am not anti-Israel. you know guys, i believe that most French people do actually respect Israel. Israel is a country struggling for the peace it deserves since 1948. I believe that the problem in France with the antisemitism is because of the high muslim population we have over here. Of couse most, or at least of big part of the muslim people living in France today are French citizens or residents, but real French Citizens DO NOT hate the Jews.
Now, about the anti-american thing. President Chirac had his point of view duruing the Iraki Conflict. Not going along with the americans doesnt mean that we hate americans. and yes, of course american people helped us during the WWI and WWII, as well as the british, canadians and russians also. but there is a point that they tend to forget very easily, is that if the French did not help the Americans Centuries ago, the United States of America would still be part of the UK today and president bush would probably be serving tea to the Queen!
My point is that we ALL live in one small place call Earth, and it would just be the greatest thing if one day, we could all live along peacefully.
God bless Israel, France, America and everybody!!
Posted by: Thomas at November 23, 2003 07:06 PM
I prefer to say that the newspaper in france, not the french, tends to attack the Americans...
Posted by: Aye at May 16, 2004 06:11 AM
we should concentrate on their wine and water. i picked up a bottle of perrier the other day, but when it dawned on me its french, i set it down also should boycott stores that sell french wine and water
Posted by: PATRICK KELLY at July 23, 2004 03:18 PM
Boycott all French products, indeed. The French are ear-deep in the Oil for Food scandal. Use the power of the free market to make them change their ways. Here is another similar link: http://boycottdanblather.com/new%20web%20site%20boycott%20france.htm
Posted by: Tim Edwards at October 2, 2004 06:49 AM
For Ben from the UK--
Posted by: Nora at December 16, 2004 05:12 PM
By the way Thomas, America already did thank the French for Lafayette. /Like/, saving their sorry backsides from the Nazis, whom we keep learning were helped and supported by many French back in the forties...
Posted by: NoraL at December 16, 2004 05:15 PM
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