How much do we import? And how it hurts the US Economy

Port of Oakland reopens following daylong shutdown by union workers to mourn death of coworker | abc7news.com. Just how much do we import into the United States every day? This case may provide a clue. The Port of Oakland closed down for 24 hours due to an on-the-job fatality on July 17, 2013. The resultant closure of the Port caused hundreds of trucks to be stranded. At one point, traffic backed up all the way from the Port of Oakland out onto Freeway I- 880 causing a terrible traffic jam. Multiple cargo ships had to wait outside of the Port and millions of dollars were thought to be lost. And this was only one day at the fourth largest U.S. port. Ponder this scenario: all the other ports are running 24 hours a day, tons of stuff being hauled out of the ships and into the trucks all day, all night – just so we can distribute all these slave-labor-made-poor-quality imports to waiting U.S. customers who don’t care where their stuff is made. If you think about it, there is always an incredible amount of stuff being brought into the USA every second from other countries.

So How Much Stuff Is Imported From China?

For 2012, China imported products into the USA to the tune of $417.3 Billion. (Compared to the United States exports only $109B to China). And China only imports about 20% of our total import. (The US contributes only 7.6% of China’s total imports). This, also, means the total global imports into the United States for 2012 was well over $2 trillion (The actual total is $2.251 Trillion). The outrageously high amount of imports every year is the reason why manufacturing has been devastated in the USA for the past 30 years with a big time collapse since the year 2000, and it is the reason for chronically high unemployment. (Food for thought: The total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the U.S. – the total amount of money that the United States makes – for 2012 was $15 Trillion. If we spent $2.251 Trillion on imports that means we spent 15% of our total U.S. income just on imports).

The Top 10 Imports from China

The Top Ten Imports from China (article from comingmore.com):

$102 Billion for electronics – mother boards, connectors, inverters, integrated circuitry.

$24 Billion for Computers, games, TV’s.

$98 Billion for machines – engines and pumps

$22.7 Billion for furniture and lighting.

$17.5 Billion for footwear

$15.6 Billion for knit clothing – sweaters, socks, bags, gloves

$15.5 Billion for other clothes – jeans, pants, jackets

$11.13 Billion for plastic sheets and recycled plastic as raw material

$9.4 Billion for iron and steel.

$8.7 Billion for vehicles.

The Resultant Trade Deficit

The total trade deficit of the USA for goods with China for 2012 was $315 Billion. The total trade deficit of the USA with the world is $540.4 Billion. Anybody who has studied economics knows that a Trade deficit is very bad, it means loss of jobs, and a loss of money as well as a loss of buying power for the country running the deficit. You know how the Republicans in Congress keep on harping about how bad a National Debt is for the United States, well, the trade deficit is actually four times worse (because it is real money and not theoretical money), but you never hear them say squat about the trade deficit (due to special interest groups perhaps?).

The Future of US Exports

Until the United States deals with its outsourcing and importation problems which are due to exempting tax duties to favored countries and tax laws that incentivize companies to outsource, the future is not rosy. There is one rosy spot, the United States has increased its exports of coal by 30% since 2011 (some of it to China.) Who says there is no place for coal? The United States needs to develop a central manufacturing strategy and quickly. Avoid Chinese products as much as you can, and buy better quality products made in the United States of America.


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