The Chinese Condom Conundrum


Via Instapundit comes this odd news story, about how free rubbers distributed overseas by the U.S. government are about to be outsourced:

At a time when the federal government is spending billions of stimulus dollars to stem the tide of U.S. layoffs, should that same government put even more Americans out of work by buying cheaper foreign products?

In this case, Chinese condoms.

That's the dilemma for the folks at jobs, the government is switching to cheaper off-shore condoms, including some made in China….

"We considered how many U.S. jobs would be affected by this move," said a USAID official who spoke on the condition that he would not be named. But he said the reasons for the change included lower prices (2 cents versus more than 5 cents for U.S.-made condoms) and the fact that Congress dropped "buy American language" in a recent appropriations bill.

Adding to the decision was the fact that the U.S. supplier, Alabama-based Alatech, had problems in the past delivering product to market on time. Now USAID is looking to close deals with Korea's Unidus Corp. and China's Qingdao Double Butterfly Group, which both sound more like fronts for Bond villains rather than contraceptive companies.

Whole story here.

And just what do those giveaway condoms actually get used for? The answers (including the image above) may surprise you.