Fifty years ago, thirty million people died in China from a famine (within a short three year period). There was literally cannibalism in China because people had no food. Do people not think that conditions have vastly improved since China became the world's factory?
Every successful post-war development story has been about heavy industrialization and export-led growth. There is no internal-market led development in the post war period because growth rates have to happen much faster than they did for UK and the US. Think of it this way: if everyone were at the starting line for a race, and two people had a five minute head start, in order to catch up, you would have to run twice as fast. Comparative development rates here matter because unequal trade agreements are biased against poor countries. Plus, try trading crappy t-shirts for microchips. You have to make a lot of t-shirts to get that one microchip, so better for you to climb up that production ladder -- going from t-shirts to crappy plastic toys to maybe simple electronics -- as fast as you can so that you can get the technology and medicines you need.
People who bring up "buy USA" arguments rarely strike me as terribly concerned about actual conditions overseas. It all seems like thinly veiled unionism politics from the '80s. More about saving American manufacturing jobs than helping orphans abroad. Frankly, most of those jobs would have disappeared in the sort of post-industrial economy we're in anyway. That story is about technology and automation, not outsourcing, but it's easier to sell the outsourcing argument to the public when you're a politician or journalist, so it persists.
On the issue of quality, there are a lot of high-quality goods made in China. Those people are making wind turbines; I'm sure they can make a sweater if you spec'd out the quality you required. Frankly, a lot of your made-in-Italy stuff is actually made in China, but then "finished" in Italy for no other reason than to put on a label.
Edited by dieworkwear - 9/23/16 at 9:05pm