Amid much racist claptrap, China bashing, and paranoia about a global future under Chinese domination in the NYT comments to the article that this thread is about, I found this smart comment by someone who appears to be in the know. Thought it would be of interest here: "New York September 13th, 2010 4:41 pm I am in the textile business and currently in China till next week. First of all we have to remember that through the ages China had one of the most advanced civilized cultures on the planet. Chinese inventions such as paper, fireworks, and pasta have had incredible impact on mankind. Silk was a Chinese discovery, and part of the trade that was known as the silk road. It is actually theorized that the Chinese discovered America prior to Columbus and the Chinese had a massive 3000 ship trade fleet that circumnavigated the globe when the rest of the world was still developing. There are many negative comments regarding the quality of Chinese made goods, and that the content origin should state who made the item. If you insist on Made in Italy by Chinese workers, where does it end. Do you have to say Made in USA by 3rd generation Irish who left during the potato famine. The comments basically hint of racial bias. It is called a country of origin label, not a racial profile of the person making the item. If we go to that extreme we might as well provide a DNA sample with the label as well. In regards to quality it should be noted that there are high quality factories and lower quality factories. This is determined by the skill set of the workers, the quality control, raw materials and production methods. To say that the Italian shoes produced by Chinese labor is of a poorer quality is also racially biased and uninformed. It depends on the type of factory and the above factors not who is making them. There are skilled and unskilled workers of every race. It never ceases to amaze me how many factories I see in China that are producing high end product for some of the top labels and brands around the world. Brands such as Armani, Zegna, Strenesse, Cerruti, Polo Purple Label etc are all producing in China with skilled Chinese labor. On top of that many top Italian companies are sending their technicians to China to oversee production and teach their Chinese counterparts the technical aspects for the particular finishing requirements etc. Piacenza has sent technicians to China to work with fabric mills, Corneliani has had a joint venture with a Chinese producer, and Zegna has a tailored garment factory in Wuxi which produces primarily for the EU. The fact of the matter is that China has the infrastructure and skilled labour to produce some of the top product in the world. Let's face it, some of these skills are no longer present anywhere else or only at the top prices. Sure you can spend $6000 for a Brioni or Kiton suit that is made in Italy and with "Italian" labor. However I was in a factory in China that hired a former pattern maker and technician for Gianluca Isaia. This brand is based in Naples and suits retail around $3000. He was working for a Chinese company helping them develop a hand made suit line in China. After viewing a suit I had another factory make he made the comment that the suit was about 80% handmade. Something that you could not get in Italy, even Kiton and Brioni are only about 60% handmade. The fact of the matter is that it would not be cost effect even at $6000 a suit to add the additional handwork. Yet the Chinese are able to do this due to low price skilled labor. The fact of the matter is that most consumers do not have a clue about what they are buying. Value and quality is only perceived and most consumers do not know the difference. If you shop at Walmart you are getting a low priced item. The problem is that the consumer does not want to pay more, hence you have retailers such as Walmart, & H&M. Do not generalize all Chinese products in the same lot as the factories that produce for these retailers satisfy a need. Do you think that the skill set for apparel manufacturing in Romania or Poland is better than factories in China? A good Chinese factory can compete with any factory anywhere for apparel."