from Follow the Money

Who is the high-tech powerhouse?

August 25, 2005

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China

Country A exports the following to B:

1. Paper and paper waste

2. Mixed metal scrap

3. Fabrics and raw cotton

4. Newspapers

5. Foam waste and scrap

6. Logs and lumber

7. Wood pulp

8. Plastics

9. Frozen fish

10. Other synthetic resins

Country B exports the following to A: 

1. Furniture

2. Toys

3. Footwear

4. Plastic products

5. Computers

6. Tools, screws, latches, etc.

7. Sporting goods

8. Cooking, ironing, heat appliances

9. Kitchenware

10. Electrical and electronic products 

Data from the Dallas Morning News.

I guess the accurate answer is neither.  One country seems to specialize in exporting natural resources and scrap, the other in exporting consumer goods.  And who knows, in the future, the US may be to China as Canada now is to the US - a country that produces and exports natural resources using lots of capital.

To be honest, I don't trust the data - aircraft and power generating equipment (Boeing and GE) should figure somewhere on the list of US exports.

And the data is in some ways misleading.    Taiwanese owned firms producing PCs in China (or Lenovo) rely on American designed chips.  But judging from the Dallas Morning News list, most of the US designed chips going into China's electronics assembly machine must no longer be made in America ...

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