“The concept of country of origin for manufactured goods has gradually become obsolete.”
An interesting article in the WSJ on tech supply chains and the problem with a lot of trade statistics. Remember how much of a trade deficit we have? Well apparently the iPhone’s wholesale cost counts towards China’s exports, not ours. Its interesting as really the only issue is statistics, but in today world where a device like the iPhone contains parts from any number of countries all around the world, is designed in a different country and assembled in China, well it just might not fit neatly into the stats of old. This type of production makes enormous sense, have everyone work on what they are best at, but it leads to strange results. One pair of pants I once bought in the US had a label that read “Made in Mexico with United States fabric” – a lot of trucking going on to make those.
“Chinese labor accounted for only a few dollars of the iPod’s value, even though trade statistics credited China with producing its full value.”
Read the article at the WSJ here