China

The Way the World Works

By Numerian
Chances are if you are a typical American consumer you have purchased something made by Foxconn Technology Group. This giant Taiwanese-owned company is under contract to make Sony’s Playstation, the Xbox 360, the Wii, motherboards for Intel, routers for Cisco, and Apple’s iPhone, iPod, and iPad. As profitable as Foxconn is, it is in a fundamental sense a failure of capitalism. At a time when machine tools and robotics are available to make these products at high speeds, Foxconn uses manual labor to craft tens of thousands of electronic devices each hour, 24 hours a day. (Image)

To accomplish this, Foxconn employs over 800,000 workers in mainland China alone, and 420,000 of them at a massive “campus” in Shenzen. The workers in Shenzen are required to live on campus in dormitories with bunk beds, cafeterias, a medical unit, and a few recreational facilities. The overwhelming number of them range in age from 18 to 24, have moved to Shenzen from rural villages with no job opportunities, work six days a week at the factory for 10 hours a day including overtime, and make about $130 a month.

About that Chinese March 2010 Trade Deficit, Can you even trust their numbers?

As expected, the China March trade deficit is being used as political cannon fodder to claim China does not manipulate it's currency. (Uh, yes they do).

Firstly, the numbers

The $7.24 billion trade deficit in March reported Saturday by China's customs administration was China's first since a $2.26 billion deficit in April 2004.

The claim is imports rose 60% from January to March, 2010.

Exports $112.11 billion in March, up 24.3 percent from a year earlier. Imports reached $119.35 billion, up 66 percent compared to the same period last year.

In the first three months of this year, China still posted a global trade surplus of $14.5 billion, down 76.7 percent from the first quarter of 2009. The trade surplus was $7.6 billion in February and the combined January-February surplus was $21.8 billion.

2.4 million jobs lost due to China from 2001-2008

That's right. 2.4 million jobs lost in 8 years can be directed attributed to China.

Since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, 2.4 million jobs have been lost or displaced in the United States as a result of the burgeoning trade deficit with that nation

Dr. Robert Scott, International Economist for the Economic Policy Institute, has a new paper, Unfair China Trade Costs Local Jobs and it's well researched, damning. The AAM has published the report in an easy scrolling presentation on the AAM website.

The research paper's bullet points are reprinted below:

China - The Ultimate Protectionist

When you hear how the United States doesn't want to be protectionist, please remember that's just spin to ensure we do the will of China.

A new 2009 annual report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission is out. Below are selected excerpts that should make the hair on your head stand on end in OMG panic.

China encourages foreign manufacturing to relocate to China and uses strict capital controls to keep the value of the RMB artificially low.

China's Quest for Oil

Is China trying to capture the oil market?

From Fueling the Dragon:

With 1.3 billion people, the People's Republic of China is the world's most populous country and the second largest oil consumer, behind the U.S. In recent years, China has been undergoing a process of industrialization and is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. With real gross domestic product growing at a rate of 8-10% a year, China's need for energy is projected to increase by 150 percent by 2020. to sustain its growth China requires increasing amounts of oil. Its oil consumption grows by 7.5% per year, seven times faster than the U.S.

China and the Dollar

China is at it once again, to remove the dollar as the world reserve currency and they are bringing their pals, India and Russia to join in.

China will push reform of the international currency system to make it more diversified and reasonable, and to reduce excessive reliance on the current reserve currencies, the People's Bank of China said Friday.

"To avoid the shortcomings of sovereign credit currencies acting as reserve currencies, we need to create an ... international reserve currency that can maintain the long-term stability of its value," the PBOC said.

Manufacturing Tuesday: Week of 12.02.08


(editor's note: I was planning on publishing this morning, but some major personal business involving a sick wiener dog to one of those emergency vets had to take precedence. )
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to another edition of Manufacturing Monday...er Tuesday! Originally I wanted to post this on Monday morning, but I wanted to include the latest development from the Boeing SPEEA talks. Outside of this we got news from the steel industry, unfortunately not the good kind. Sticking with steel for a moment, there's an op-ed piece I wish to highlight that I thought you should look at. We have news or alarm bells I should say about pensions. Of course we also have some Green news, some ominous, but some good.

But before we get to those, let's take a look at the Numbers!

The Numbers

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