Thursday, July 05, 2007

Minnesota Bans Foreign Flags: This Is Embarrassing

Starting Jan. 1, 2008, retailers in the People's Republic of Minnesota will be barred from selling U.S. flags made outside America. Violators of the law can be punished by a $1,000 fine or imprisoned for three months. Not surprisingly, the law is supported by the Flag Manufacturers' Association of America, which has complained about a flood of foreign-made U.S. flags, valued at $5.3 million, imported mostly from The People's Republic China last year.

This story is making international headlines, read stories here (Daily India), here (Pravda-Russia), and here (Ireland).

From the AP: "Some experts say Minnesota's law probably violates international trade standards, but they doubt it would spark any official action because the lost business to foreign manufacturers is likely minimal." Isn't that like saying shoplifting $25 of merchandise from Target probably violates the law, but it's OK because the effect on Target is likely minimal?

The Foundation for Economic Education sums it up pretty well in just 3 words, "This is embarrassing."

What's next, a ban on all Chinese restaurants in Minnesota?


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