A rider competes during the saddle bronc riding event at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in Cheyenne, the United States, July 24, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Ying)
"We don't care about the president's trade war with China," said Joe Hawkins, a rancher from Denver, Colorado.
by Peter Mertz
CHEYENNE, the United States, July 25 (Xinhua) -- From coffee cups to cowgirls' dresses, to jackets, and even cowboy hats and boots, Cheyenne Frontier Days, the greatest ten-day annual rodeo in the country and one of most American life style shows, is chock full of gifts and artifacts made across the Pacific Ocean.
In normal times, this would not seem unusual, but with U.S.-China trade frictions approaching the 13th month, vendors at the event in Cheyenne, Wyoming State, show no qualms about trading with China.
NO TRADE IMBALANCE
"We cannot keep our business without Chinese products. They are instrumental in helping driving sales all these years. I don't see any trade imbalance caused by Chinese products. They meet our needs in various ways," Linda Allen told Xihua Friday.
Allen, owner of a shop called "Traditional General Store" outside the Cheyenne Frontier Days arena, said that Chinese products, including silk clothes, watches, cosmetic mirrors, cards, jewelries, flasks and felt hats, are main contents of her store which has been running for 11 years.
She said her store has not suffered much from the U.S.-China trade frictions ignited by the White House, and the selling price of Chinese products remain unchanged so far.
"We're here to celebrate the American way of life," retired truck driver Jimmy Tolford told Xinhua.
Ironically, Tolford, an open supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, isn't concerned about correcting a so-called trade imbalance between the United States and China.
Trump won Wyoming in the 2016 presidential election by a whopping 46 points over Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton. And despite representing Trump's most loyal conservative base, the rodeo crowd in the sparsely populated "Cowboy State" seems reluctant to forgo Chinese products.
Photo taken on June 19, 2019 shows toys made in China at a shop in Orlando, Florida, the United States. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)
PRICE AND QUALITY
American flags and "Make America Great Again" hats were scattered throughout the crowd Friday. Officials the event running on July 19-28 will attract over 500,000 people for the third straight year. But nobody says no to "made in China".
"We don't care about the president's trade war with China," said Joe Hawkins, a rancher from Denver who drove 170 km from Colorado's capital to attend the world's largest outdoor rodeo -- billed the "Daddy of 'Em All'" -- where nine daily performances showcase a gamut of horseback and bull riding events.
Hawkins and his two young daughters spent hours milling around the dozens of vendor booths housed in a replica of a 100-year-old makeshift "Frontier Town" village, where his youngest chose a pink cowboy hat flush with sequins that sparkled in the noonday sun.
The feminine hat chosen by 9-year-old Emily Hawkins is made in "Ningbo, China", according to the label.
"You can't beat the price, and the quality is good," Hawkins told Xinhua.
Claire Fraley, who works at the Cheyenne Frontier Days official products store, also told Xinhua a bunch of products sold in the store are made in China, including toys such as guns and trucks, ceramic cups and umbrellas.
"These Chinese products are very popular for American customers for their high quality and good price. We always expect to have more of them in the future," she said.
TO MAKE MONEY
Nearby, Harrington, another staunch Trump supporter, was selling large, colorful rugs depicting horses and America's West from his Eaglehawk Rugs store.
"When it comes to business, I don't care if you are Chinese or Mexican," Harrington told Xinhua. "We are a capitalist society, and I'm here to make money."
Inside Mountain Man Nut and Fruit Company were bags and bags of nutritious dried fruits and nuts, all packaged in America. But on a bookshelf in a corner of the store were coffee cups and even porcelain horse figurines made in China.
"You can't get away from China -- we will never match their labor and their manufacturing is too entrenched," Harrington told Xinhua. "These supply lines aren't gonna change," he added.