February 7th, 2012
02:43 PM ET

The shocking statistics about how many things really are 'made in America'

Turn over any random product while shopping, and there's an excellent chance you'll see the stamp "Made in China." But what about America? Clint Eastwood made an impassioned argument for American manufacturing during his heavily-hyped ad for Chrysler that aired during the Super Bowl. Erin Burnett asks, "what kind of jobs do we want in America?" As has been reported this week, Apple faces scrutiny for the treatment of Chinese workers who assemble hugely successful products like the iPad. Could the California-designed iPad be built here at home?

"Steve Jobs famously told President Obama before he died that American manufacturing jobs are not coming back." OutFront checked the numbers, and found there are 246 Apple retail stores in America–and they employ about 30,000 people. While that's a small figure compared to the jobs in China making iPads and other tech products for American firms, the retail jobs pay much, much more. "We thought it was time to throw some not-well-known numbers onto the table in this debate," said Burnett. "One, we do make things in America. A lot of things." According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, 89 percent of U.S. consumer spending is on items made in the United States. "A lot of that's on services and food and things like that, but we make cars and washing machines here. Just ask G.E. Imports from China account for–this is amazing–only two and a half percent of G.D.P."

"The truth is we want wages to grow in America. We need to make things other countries can't."

Filed under: Economy • Erin's Essay
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. nexus20

    "I think people should be careful what they wish for on China. If China were to revalue its currency, or China is to start making, say, toys that don't have lead in them or food that isn't poisonous, their costs of production are going to go up, and that means prices at Wal-Mart here in the United States are going to go up too." Erin Burnet

    February 9, 2012 at 12:06 am | Reply
    • Shocked by this

      OMG. Retailers can make good profit from USA made items. But no, they can make LARGER profits from Chinese junk. Ya, don't regulate food China, feed us your poison. 89%???? What you trying to feed us Burnett? You remind me of Rebecca Black now.

      February 10, 2012 at 7:15 am | Reply

    im concerned with slave labor and are the items and products made with materials that dont include disease causing agents in the processing involved in the manufacturing of the product!

    February 8, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  3. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, B.A., J.D., S.P.J.

    Apparently members of the US Federal Reserve must be shopping in a different WalMart and Target and Best Buy department store chains than the rest of the people in the USA. Apparently there must be a group of secret stores on K Street in washington where these American Made goods are found. The issue is: "What percentage of consumer and industrial non-durable products are made in China? Answer, about 65%. In the USA about 16. Then if you exclude Commercial airliners, and things made expressly for the military, the percentage of durable goods is about the same. Eventually this country will be an economy that makes fried chicken, doughnuts, soda pop and brewed Coffee and sells the products to people who work exclusively in retail who sell Chinese goods. When china eventually values it's currency at what it is actually worth, this country could be out of business.

    February 8, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Reply
    • CorneliusTacitus

      Or other countries might be able to compete fairly in a free market.

      March 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  4. Shocked by this

    Why not use fuels and minerals on USA owned lands to pay down the deficit and balance the budget instead of leasing for pennies to oil companies?

    We sort of are, many people know that the land we are using for Natural Gas and Shale production is being auctioned, BY THE US GOVERNMENT, to large investment companies for almost nothing. These companies are then making a "REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST" that then allows them to sell 'shares' to China. China has purchased about 60% of the land rights to these oil and gas rich areas.

    February 8, 2012 at 9:20 am | Reply
    • Dana

      Ask lobbyists. Speculators.

      March 7, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  5. iceload9

    We have coaches that are being paid by the other team. The supreme court opened the flood gates for China to buy elections. Until we have someone who's willing to fight for US and pay lip service, we will continue to flounder and the best we can hope for is the new normal is a job where we make enough to eat.

    February 8, 2012 at 7:50 am | Reply
  6. Vampy

    A lot of things are wrong with the work environment and the taxes and immigration as well as 99% and the 1% , Wall Street, Unions, credit interest rates, gas prices and such...jobs in America went over seas because it's cheaper to build and ship then to pay union wadges...production of goods over there are not bound by human rights and fair working condition, greed and need drives the core of all who want more. I am not so sure there is a balance, tax break companies who produce 95% of good in America, do not import from countries unless they have a balance of our exports...really I do not see an easy answer...close our trades nad go back to 1955 where we had the top of industrial food chain...I don't know?

    February 8, 2012 at 7:18 am | Reply

    The best American jobs? The best American jobs would be the ones that allow us Americans to go to the booth and vote all Republicans out of office. You know, those rightwing politicians who say they're not concerned about the poor? Yea, voting them all out of office would be the best American job. Literally!

    February 8, 2012 at 7:12 am | Reply
  8. sameeker

    Moderator – My email address is sameeker@hotmail.com. I have printed this page off and will file a first amendment suit against this site if you do not contact me and DISCUSS (not just a form letter) why everything I post is censored. You have today to respond and then I file.

    February 8, 2012 at 7:08 am | Reply
    • JG

      It's called a "flood filter" you idiot. It's to stop you from spamming up the comments with your stupidity.

      February 12, 2012 at 12:53 am | Reply
    • beezelbob@gmail.com

      Additionally you do not have first amendment rights to free speech on this privatly owned page. File away. You'll lose. Business owners have the right to exclude your business as they wish.

      March 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  9. sameeker

    It is apparent that nothing that I say is going to get posted. I did not cuss or threaten in any of my posts. I did make a remark about a guy whose last name rhymes with slobs. That is a capital crime here on CNN.

    February 8, 2012 at 7:05 am | Reply
    • beezelbob@gmail.com

      Oh, my, God. So these are the kinds of posts that were deleted and you're crying about your first amendment free speech rights? LOL. Get your head out of your ass. You want your free speech rights so you can make fun of someone. I guess that's valid, stupid, but still valid.

      March 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  10. Chedar

    And of course the chopstick we export to China is made in USA. A reversal of fortune.

    February 8, 2012 at 6:46 am | Reply
  11. Aaron Browne

    The fact that 89% of consumer spending is on things made in America is a misleading statistic. More drivel from the network that promotes free trade policies.

    February 8, 2012 at 6:04 am | Reply
  12. JS

    Nice twist on statistics and it shows how you can bend them and distort to conform to your message. Yes we pay 89% for mostly services made in America but that does not mean we are creating value for the society. Pushing paper on Wall street does not add value to society as we have recently seen in 2009. All the perceived gains can evaporate over night. Producing goods that you and I can touch and use in daily live adds value to our society. Simply economics 101.

    February 8, 2012 at 5:39 am | Reply
  13. Mr.Enigma

    It's a combination of things that has destroyed our work market and Made In The Usa fail. Greed buy cutting corners when they are profiting for higher profits by cutting our jobs or working more for less making our workers sicker. Then retail markets like Walmarts doing good for Chinahood. Next giving breaks by outsourcing our jobs and importing crappy quality goods that are unsafe, poor quality etc., buy using foreign shore sweat shops that they cant run here. Being in the Tech world I can remember former president G.W. telling the press during a question about Tech jobs going over seas what was his take on it. Quote G.W. "Well that's because our workers cant keep up with the demand" hmm A president saying his country cant take care of its own needs and demands? Funny if we had huge demands why would we of cut jobs? Now the problem is now since no one has the money left no one could afford things if they did return cause we got so dependent on cheap products and buying more and more to where that's all we can afford cause it did not matter anymore about Made with Pride in the U.S.A. or Made In The USA stickers. I meant what can I buy today and save dollars but not spend a little more for better quality and keep jobs over here.

    Not only will the jobs not come back but neither will the economy percentage wise were living on less and loosing more. Thanks to book keepers, and wealthy wanting more more more and getting everyone with less hooked on buying cheaper goods from over seas and keeping ourselves out of work.

    It's everyone's greed, Democrat, with Nafta, Republican with allowing more foreign workers and off shoring jobs, Corporations going for records profits while everyone makes less, Banks with shady loans and Large Finance Company's making money off insurance of bankruptcy making records incomes for them self, Fraud of the Medical and Insurance Markers, Cheaper products in Largest Retailers, People out of work buying more cheaper sub standard items in Grocery and Dept Stores, More Auto Imports that have built plants here and now call them self American, Oil Company's allowed to bully the consumers cause they pay off people. Etc., When does anyone care anymore and when does the once Market Leaders step up to the plate and do whats right pay people fair wage and others enforcing proper taxes for the wealthy, cut imports and step up exports of goods .. I don't think any company has the spine to stand up pay fair wages, benefits, stop crooked loans, and become patriotic and care for the future of their country.

    I challenge anyone to prove it wrong!!! Apple and Tech Company's sold out the country that built them. Oil Company's make record profits and keeps screwing the economy and others follow suit cause no one in power has the spine to also stand up and truly put their proof where their mouth is. Everyone how wants a better economy prove it other wise its not gonna change. There is your reality check people.

    February 8, 2012 at 5:24 am | Reply
    • beezelbob@gmail.com

      Why so pessimistic? The country's economy is not "destroyed". It's certainly debilitated. The cause of this, I think, is free trade agreements whereby jobs are allowed to go to the lowest bidder. That's the capitalism advocated and paid for by the Koch brothers. Isn't that nice? Capitalism is good, right? So, we are currently worried about China "Takin our jobs", well, Chinese wages are going up, costs are going up for them and those Chinese jobs are being stolen by India and Africa. That's also capitalism. Eventually all wages in all countries will be roughly equivalent and the deciding factor will be resources, worker skill and transportation costs. Of course that may take 20-100 years but after that we will all be on an equal footing. Isn't that somehing to look forward to? I kind of see it as the opposite of colonialism. Why weren't you crying when we took their labor, resources and profits?

      March 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  14. Adam

    it can be all summed up in one word "GREED". At some point we will look at this and VERY Unpatriotic and UN-American. I dont give a crap how fast apple wants to introduce a new product. Are you saying the retail market cant wait for "Fair Labor practices to get a new "gadget" in the hands of the consumer? If I were president and the Tech Saint Steve jobs told me those jobs were not coming back to America I would have made it my mission to invoke as much American Misery on this company as I could. Jobs got rich off the backs of Americans and the slave labor of the chinese. 3 or 4 billion less in profit and American Manufacturing in a state of the art facility would have went a long way. I could go on but ive said enough

    February 8, 2012 at 3:51 am | Reply
    • Meyapp

      RIM Blackberry does make most of their products in a well paid factory (not playbook though which anyways don't make them enough money) in N. America but now cannot compete with cheaply made Apple and Android products. So, without company willingness (in the case of RIM) and some sort of trade regulations (almost not possible in the current setup) no more non-service industry jobs for rich countries (rich here means higher salary than in those poor countries)! Sorry!

      February 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  15. badd pup

    Can ne one tell me y we fight a war over oil and we all know thats what it is why ever they tell us we are fighting just to buy it from them so we can sell it to the gastaions they own and pay prices that are way too high while the oil companies make record profits???

    February 8, 2012 at 2:16 am | Reply
  16. sosolly

    It is time the American working people realize that the only way to ever get back to where we were fifty years ago is for everyone to pitch in and re organize the work places and force these billionaires to stop treating the American workers like they are throw aways and restore us to where we deserve to be. All the naysayers are folks that have never had to work in their lives and live off their Daddy's and Mama's coattails.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:00 am | Reply
  17. LE117

    Apple has gobs of money. They should build a plant here that makes iPads, and offer customers a choice between a Chinese-made iPad and an American-made iPad, with the only difference being the price due to different costs of production, and we'll see how many Americans are willing to put their wallets where their mouths are.

    February 8, 2012 at 1:56 am | Reply
    • Meyapp

      Ha! Even when we know organic food is likely healthier we rarely buy it so the price is way higher than other foods! You think people are going to buy the same product for higher price?! You must be dreaming!

      February 17, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  18. sosolly

    What the hell does this lady know about manufacturing, how many milling machines, lathes, drill presses, drop hammers, blast furnaces, rivet guns, auto assembly lines, etc. has she ever worked on 8/5 or 12/5 or 12/7? give me a break.

    February 8, 2012 at 1:53 am | Reply
    • LV

      The final point here is perfect: make things other cannot.

      Since China, Singapore and the EU use state money to enter and dominate industries, that's exactly what we should do, but with nanotech, bioengineered drugs, and more.

      Now, given that China is that small to us, then we need to punish them severely for violating WTO rules until they stop stealing IP and cheating by pegging their currency to the USD.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:01 am | Reply
  19. sosolly

    The Republicans have been trying for fifty years to kill organized labor without doing so. They all got together and said "if we cannot do it any other way we will just send all the good paying,manufacturing jobs to our friends in Communist China", and that is what they did. These are the same Republicans that have been getting elected by crying there was a Commie behind every bush.

    February 8, 2012 at 1:47 am | Reply
    • MikeM

      Labor unions have been (and are) one of the main reasons manufacturing and other jobs have left this country. While there was a reason to demand better treatment of employees, as we seem prone to do labor unions ended up freezing up manufacturing. Preventing people from getting fired when they deserved it. Now even non-union companies cannot fire people because of fear of legal suits.

      February 8, 2012 at 7:15 am | Reply
      • JG

        I agree. Unions are the worst thing to happen to modern America. I've personally lost two jobs because of stupid union greed. Someone in China is now running my paper sheeting equipment.

        February 12, 2012 at 12:56 am | Reply
  20. jesse

    apple retail jobs pay more than manufacturing jobs in china, yes, but they're still barely above minimum wage ($12 an hour in boston est.) and don't provide very good benefits... go wait on some tables. you'll make 3x as much and have a heck of a lot more fun

    February 8, 2012 at 12:59 am | Reply
  21. Tim McMullan

    I worked a temp position at a major Dept store distribution center in Kansas 20 football fields under one roof packed full of goods stamped "made in China" the short time I was there I saw one single item stamped made in America it was truly eye opening, I don't belive we can purchase anything made in America.... there just isn't anything to buy !!

    February 8, 2012 at 12:49 am | Reply
  22. sameeker

    I thought that this was an article about American workers and products from the headline. Turns out, it is just the daily apple story praising S teve (idied) J obs.

    February 7, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Reply
  23. sameeker

    I thought that this was an article about American workers and products from the headline. Turns out, it is just the daily Apple story praising Steve (idied) Jobs.

    February 7, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Reply
  24. csnord

    The fact is that there is little, outside of high-end military hardware, that the US can make that other countries cannot make, and make better. America could out manufacture the rest of the world 50 years ago, but primarily because the rest of the world was digging out from world war two. But that ship has sailed, and these days almost everything that can be made here can be made somewhere else better. We are more concerned with fairness and equality and self-esteem than we are personal responsibility and creating skilled workers. Our liberalism has destroyed us.

    February 7, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  25. Reality

    Why do you mean my comment is waiting moderation? Don't we have freedom of speech????/

    February 7, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Reply
    • sameeker

      You must have said something against Steve Jobs. My comment won't go through either and I didn't cuss or anything.

      February 7, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Reply
    • sosolly

      Welcome to the club, if the government censored CNN like CNN censors the participants of this discussion, they would be raising all sorts of hell.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:42 am | Reply
      • LE117

        Quit whining. Without moderation forums like this quickly devolve into collections of vulgar insults and name-calling. Go read some comments under YouTube videos. Maybe that's what you want, but it's not what most people here want.

        February 8, 2012 at 3:04 am | Reply
    • NoDEMS

      They sensored because they are owned and biased to Obama campaign, do not know.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:07 am | Reply
    • Chedar

      Yap! If you just wrote one "N" or the four letter word in this post, your post will get dropped.

      February 8, 2012 at 6:51 am | Reply
  26. fistface

    "The truth is we want wages to grow in America. We need to make things other countries can't." ---- RIGHT ON THE MONEY..... ABSOLUTE BULLSEYE...

    Wages Grow.. more spending.. more demand.. more jobs... less tax burden. Add in a President that Believes in small government and fiscal conservatism... and that is the start of something good.

    ....Status Quo with the Republicans American dream of CorporAmerica or the Democrats BIG GOVERNMENT for ALL .. and it just won't work. They have sold us out and flushed us all down the toilet for a few extra bucks they really don't need.......

    February 7, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Reply
    • OccupyWallStreet 2016 for Senate

      I'm all for small government as long as it keeps the wall street crooks in line and preserves the air I breath from the toxic pollutants caused by companies where the CEO doesn't have to live

      February 8, 2012 at 1:44 am | Reply
    • Chedar

      2008 is the last funding for scientific research that can produce high value item in America. There ain't many new comes out as funding in R & D is dead. Innovation is the key and it will be hard to bring this kind of manufacturing job up with our R &D

      February 8, 2012 at 6:59 am | Reply
  27. Derek Ian Thompson

    Answer: We want jobs that will allow us to pay our rent / mortgages, put food on our tables (every night), and maybe even allow us the opportunity for dining out once in a while. In order to achieve this, the minimum wage must be raised across all boards to accommodate the cost of inflation. Our current wages are circa 1982, not 2012.

    February 7, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  28. Catherine41

    We need jobs that have benefits–paid sick leave, paid vacation, health insurance, retirement. Historically, manufacturing jobs were union jobs, and union jobs led in the creation of those benefits. Retail jobs rarely have benefits, and even if they are remotely possible, the employer makes sure they are out of reach for most. Retail jobs pay better? Whose RepubliCorporate dream are you pushing?

    February 7, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Reply
    • Bill Mosby

      Apple retail store jobs pay better than Foxconn manufacturing jobs in China, I think it means. Which ain't sayin' all that much.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:00 am | Reply
    • Denny

      As the children in Sub-Saharan Africa are dying of starvation.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:48 am | Reply
  29. RogerE

    It's not about what we want, it's first and foremost about what we need. What jobs do we need?????? What needs to be done and what needs to be invented / innovated? Surely we have enough gadgets in general and websites that really don't make our lives any better or happier. Let's start with we need more teachers that are paid properly. We keep hearing that we can't afford this or that and that we have to cut spending as the excuse. What a load of garbage. We have plenty of money but just don't know it. We choose not to educate our children properly because of our misguided view of money and the financial system. The same applies to all of the other jobs we should have in place. Short-term thinking is the biggest part of the problem.

    February 7, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  30. Frank A.

    Sorry, Erin Burnett, but you are providing dramatically misleading information. Sure retail jobs here pay more than manufacturing jobs in China, but those same manufacturing jobs, if brought here, would pay MORE than the retail jobs that remain here. There is also a multiplier effect... if manufacturers locate here, then there suppliers will follow with more jobs, and those companies will need local services, such as those provided by accounting firms, cleaning companies, the construction industry, etc. Furthermore, with the worldwide ubiquity of information sharing, available capital, and accessible raw materials, there are no things that "other countries can't offer." Until we become a net exporter nation, our standard of living will continue to fall. With articles like this continuing to confuse people, we are doomed!

    February 7, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Reply
    • LE117

      I hate to break this to you, but Americans' standard of living would lower if they had to pay more for a lot of the stuff they buy so someone could make $15/hour to make it here instead of $1/hour to make it in China.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:46 am | Reply
    • Vampy

      Agreed Frank...agreed.

      February 8, 2012 at 7:22 am | Reply
  31. Tyler Cheek

    THANK YOU. I've been waiting for an article to be written to this effect for a while.

    Even Though we do lose some employment to countries like China and Taiwan and others, this is not inherently bad. This just means that people in other countries are willing to do our jobs for less money. This is a great thing because it keeps prices down for American consumers and that money eventually comes back. What America has failed to do, though, is hold up it's end of the hypothetical Free Trade Bargain. David Ricardo's Theory of Comparative Advantage says that America needs to work towards skilled jobs in designing the products those workers in other countries make. America's innovation is unprecedented in modern history, and is comparable to that of the Romans and Greeks. Why do we not see companies who partner with Chinese manufacturing firms to design a product, have the Chinese firm make the product and then provide the service of marketing it to its investors?

    February 7, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Reply
    • Bill Mosby

      Apple products are "Designed in California and made in China". Kind of what you mean, isn't it, only such work doesn't provide a lot of jobs in the U.S. compared to the number it provides, with much less pay I might add, in China. One other factor that is more valuable to Apple than low Chinese wages is the fact that if Apple needs something changed or a whole lot more of something made in a short period of time, they can just roust the workers at Foxconn out of their dorms, frog-march them down to the factory and make them work as long as they want them to, and no backtalk. Just try to do that here. I didn't make that up, it's in the New York Times article about the subject that was published in the last week or two.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:04 am | Reply
    • OccupyWallStreet 2016 for Senate

      And that's the problem.

      These CEO's look at human beings as nothing more than a resource.... like wood, coal, gas, oil, rice. They will go to any country willing to abuse it's citizens with cheap labor and our economists think this is a good thing? Sorry, but we seriously need a world minimum living standard. We shouldn't be competing for who can offer the cheapest human labor costs.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:47 am | Reply
  32. empty

    really now your just making up numbers...we have lost 27 million manufacturing jobs...and that is a conservative number.during our history when we have a strong manufacturing base the economy does good.and FYI retail jobs are not "good paying jobs"

    February 7, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Reply
  33. Travis

    Well one thing is certain, we have too many journalists that are out of touch with the middle class. Maybe they need to lose their high-paying jobs at CNN and go get a retail job paying $8/hr with no benefits. I'm sure journalism jobs can be outsourced to the Philippines or India for $3/hr.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  34. randy

    First, i don't believe for a moment that 89% of all consumer spending is for items that are made in the USA. Do they think we are stupid? When a plant moves off shore; state, city, and federal tax revenue is lost. Wonder why we have a $15 Trillion + deficit and growing? In addition to the millions of American jobs lost directly due to plant closings, which include management, operations, finance, maintenence, manufacturing, and hourly wage earners, there is a trickle down effect to retail establishments and other service business serving those plants and their employees. Now, add those millions of jobs that are lost in addition to the millions of jobs lost due to moving manufacturing overseas. Read the book: "Death By China" by Peter Navarro and Greg Autry. pg 2 Since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 and falsely promised to end its mercantilist and protectionist practices, America's apparel, textile, and wood furniture industries have shrunk to half their size – with textile jobs alone beaten down by 70%. Pg3 Other critical industries like chemicals, paper, steel, and tires are under seige, while employment in our high-tech computer and electronics manufacturing industries has plummeted by more than 40%. With massive Chinese gov't support, companies are busily cornering the market in so-called "green" industries like electric cars, solar power, and wind energy. American politicians have been claiming those industries as America's best source of new jobs. China is also arming itself to the teeth Pg5 modernizing its Navy and Air Force with everything from virtually undetectable nuclear submarines, the latest Russian fighters to ballistic missles that can precisely target America's aircraft carriers. Of course, China's pentagon has developed advanced weapons systems, many of which have been stolen by their hackers and spies – to shoot down our satellite and GPS systems and send nuclear warheads deep into the American heartland. And, you will never hear this from America's politicians, business executives, or journalists, because the system is making too much money off the scheme. Pg9 China's far reaching spy network has stolen critical secrets related to the Aegis guided missle destroyer, B1-B bomber, Delta IV rocket, ICBM-capable guidence systems, Stealth Bomber, and Space Shuttle. I have watched as our computer numerically controlled manufacturing, semiconductor, printed circuit board, metal casting, and even printing industries have moved off shore since the early 1980's. It is all about bringing the most money down to the bottom line, wihout regard to the U.S. citizen, our country's fiscal health, or even our national defense. The business executives get more stock options, larger bonuses, more perks, higher salaries, and this greater affluence allows them to pay lobbyists to buy your congress persons' votes. It is actually more complicated than just this; they have both political parties eating at their trough with the philosophical belief they can create global peace through their New World Order. My own projection is they will have their global currency and their global government for a while, until China and Russia invade the Middle East. How will they stop them?

    February 7, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  35. Reality

    Yes, indeed" we need to make things other countries can't", but at the same time we need to stop being so greedy and have manufacturing jobs also here in the United States, Big corporations and even small ones want to see a huge profit enough for them to have 5 luxury cars and mansions all over, we need to stop being so selfish and be more patriotic about it. Here they are accusing one president of not creating jobs when they are the ones holding back the capital for political reasons only. Yes, there are a lot of hurdles to go through to educate american employees about the cost of doing business and abuse to the law that protects them, but everything in life requires effort and hard work. At the same time we talk so much about human rights and what are we doing by getting cheaper labor? Aren't we exploiting third world countrie's peoples?????

    February 7, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  36. tony

    I raised several million dollars of venture capital in the mid eighties for my high tech start up. Every VC we visited wanted to be sure we manufactured in China to cut costs.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Reply
  37. Texas Coyote

    If anyone asks yet again, why the OCCUPIERS all over the United States are protesting. Listen up!“You control our world. You've poisoned the air we breathe, contaminated the water we drink, and copyrighted the food we eat. We fight in your wars, die for your causes, and sacrifice our frDon't come to me with problems we need solutions! After all of the many, many trillion dollar bailouts of all the major industries (savings and loan's 80's, insurance, banking, auto, real estate(both commercial and residential), tech industry-dot.com Bust, not to mention the recent Wall Street Crash (more like a legal ponzi scheme!) that costs naive American investers hard working American taxpayer's XZeedoms to protect you. You've liquidated our savings, destroyed our middle class, and used our tax dollars to bailout your unending greed. We are slaves to your corporations, zombies to your airwaves, servants... to your decadence. You've stolen our elections, assassinated our leaders, and abolished our basic human rights as human beings. You own our property, shipped away our jobs, and shredded our unions. You've profited off of disaster, destabilized our currencies, and raised our cost of living, while lowering our wages. You've monopolized our freedom, stripped away our education and have almost extinguished our flame. Now you are trying to cripple/sabotage the internet with SOPA/PIPA type legislation, to end our ability to communicate effectively!! We are hit...we are bleeding... but we ain't got time to bleed. We will bring the giants to their knees and you will witness our revolution! WAKE UP AMERICA! SUPPORT OCCUPY!

    February 7, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  38. jony3322

    It does not matter who said or says what. Made in China products are still covering the entire US market every corner. Please wake up people.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  39. Bart

    This story is misleading. The numbers being used to make the percentage of Chinese goods look tiny includes things like everyones income, everyone's house payments and rent, costs for services, taxes, etc. Why don't they talk about the real numbers which is the percentage of non-food consumer goods that come from China, it's huge. This first line in the story tells the truth, turn all your products over and look, if you haven't done so already you should be shocked to see EVERYTHING in your shopping cart probably came from China.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Reply
  40. Uncle Marty

    "A lot of that's on services and food and things like that, but we make cars and washing machines here. Just ask G.E. Imports from China account for–this is amazing–only two and a half percent of G.D.P." What does "Just ask G.E." mean? G.E. is not mentioned anywhere in the article!

    February 7, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  41. jj

    Flip hamburgers, that's a job for Americans.

    February 7, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  42. art

    Steve Jobs told the president that manufacturing jobs aren't coming back? And the president didn't say a word?
    Then, it's time to stop buying apple products.

    February 7, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Reply
    • LE117

      Who said the president didn't say a word? And why boycott Apple because Steve Jobs had the nerve to be honest?

      February 8, 2012 at 1:53 am | Reply
    • Chris

      Why? You're knee-jerking a "boycott" based on reading one line out of context? He was talking about the economic reality based on the current situation. He wasn't making a statement on intent, just on current economic climate.

      As for this article, it's total hogwash. You cannot lump in all services etc spending and compare it with manufactured goods to compare with Made In China manufactured goods. Much more interesting would be to compare ALL foreign-made products with made-in-USA products. But, also you can't just take "a car" made in the USA and count the entire dollar value. You have to break it down by what percentage of that vehicle is made in each country. Break it down like that, then add that breakdown into each category... USA-made and foreign-made. This way you can really see where the dollars are going.

      Last, everyone keeps talking about Apple in relation to FoxConn. Highlighting Apple was a huge smear-job by the NYT and now others. Many manufacturers have their products made in FoxConn plants, not just Apple. Apple was singled out for their success and popularity, not because they're uniquely involved in Chinese manufacturing.

      February 8, 2012 at 6:46 am | Reply
  43. papi

    America? are they talking about Central, South or North America including Mexico? If the items we buy are made in America will we still know what country made them? At least we'll know they were made somewhere on this side of the planet.

    February 7, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  44. ghittsum

    If by some odd shift in the universe companies brought manufacturing back to the U.S., the wage a worker would bring home would not be enough to survive. China's work force is in position where their people have the technical level to handle that type of assembly and a lower cost for living. In 20 years they'll have caught on to the idea that they'll want more and then manufacturing will move on to India, or somewhere else where they'll do it for less.

    February 7, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  45. Calvin

    America is a mixed pot, so jobs be. I just want Obama stop tax the 1% and corporate so that they can keep the jobs in the US instead of shipping left-to-right to China for low tax, labor cost. You can see that 90% of product is Made in China. About 30% products are US designed but manufacturing in China. 60% of the products are Made in China with bad quality and most have healt , reliability issue that Obama and FDA allow them importe into the US. This non-sense Obama strategy is US job killer, period. I completely aqgree with Marc comment: all high to low tech jobs.

    February 7, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Reply
    • DoNotWorry

      You blame Obama for what has been going on for decades? Lord have mercy.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:54 am | Reply
    • Michael Schofield

      If the products that were being produced in China for the wage of one dollar an hour were brought back to America, yes it would bring many new jobs but at a cost, the prices of that product would rise to compensate for labor costs. $1 an hour there equals a range from $7.35-$12.00 here.

      February 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  46. Jt_flyer

    In the 1950's a few american medwestern states produced the majority of the world's products. But things change. I just read Walmart is eliminating its famous greeter position. We may have in fact just lost the last remaing good american job.

    February 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  47. YigalG

    I don't know where Erin takes these numbers from. Cars are sometime are being assembled in the USA but their are manufactured abroad, mainly in Mexico and , yes, China. 99% of all products sold in the USA except oil and military have parts that are manufactured abroad, mainly in China. Let's not kid ourselves, those jobs are not coming back, but no country can sustain itself without manufacturing jobs just buying and selling things to each other!

    February 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  48. Marc Campbell

    What kinds of jobs do we want? Since there are every type and kind of people in America, with every type and kinds of abilities and interest – we need every type and kinds of jobs that pay a living wage until every type and kind of American is employed. GO PALE RIDER!

    February 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    • Wolfy Blitz

      But what about the unemployed who are so poor and so black? What jobs are out there for them?

      February 7, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Reply
      • Michael Chapel Hill

        The unemployed here are those who do not want to do the jobs that are hard and less paying. Illegals push in there; at the end they get better per hr rate and better working conditions. Construction is an example. The quality of work also has bone down as the builders embrace illegals for cheap labor.

        March 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • be american buy american

      Start buying american cars not cars manufactured in america. Buy that I mean ford , chrysler, chevrolet. This money stays here. All other foreign money goes back to foreign country that car company originated from.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Reply
      • LE117

        I'll buy the car I want. If American automakers want my business then they have to build the car I want. (I drive a Corvette, so they got lucky there. 😉 The idea that I should buy a car I don't want just to buy American is stupid.

        February 8, 2012 at 1:50 am | Reply
      • sosolly

        You had better back up on Chrysler.

        February 8, 2012 at 2:02 am | Reply

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