Here’s something that should revise a lot of clichés, though it probably won’t: less than 3% of U.S. consumption expenditures are on goods made in China. Almost 90% are made in the USA. Of course, the domestic total is boosted by services—but even durable goods are 12% China, 67% U.S. And less than half the value of Chinese imports go to China—55% of the money spent on “Chinese” goods represent processing and other services (like distribution and retailing) provided in the U.S.
This info comes from a new paper by Galina Hale and Bart Hobijn of the San Francisco Fed. Their point was to show that Chinese inflation has minimal influence on U.S. price levels, which is persuasive. But it’s also an antidote to the widespread belief that the U.S. is hollowed out and all the action is in China. We’ve got problems, yes, but we’ve also got resources—resources we can do a lot better with than we are now.