January 12, 2010
THINK before you buy an import
The November tally included $7.3 billion to China, beating the record set just one month before.
It seems easy for Americans to criticize the current administration about Healthcare, war policy, and a myriad of other issues as “un-American.” Yet, when it comes to shopping…we appear to be very un-American indeed.
Texans, thankfully, are standing their American ground when it comes to vehicles.
The top-selling vehicles in Texas are:
1. Ford F series: Division of Ford Motor Company
2. Chevrolet Silverado: A division of General Motors
3. Dodge Ram: Division of Chrysler Group LLC
4. Chevrolet Tahoe: A division of General Motors
5. Honda Accord: Division of Honda Motor Company - Japan
6. Ford Explorer: Division of Ford Motor Company
In 2008, Japan led the World motor vehicle production by 11,564,000 units, China was 2nd with 9,345,000 units and the United States came in 3rd with 8,705,000 units.
Look around your local parking lot: Try to count the Toyotas, Acuras, Hondas, Infinitis, Nissans, Suzukis, Mitsuhishis, Mazdas, Subarus, and Isuzus. There are far less Fords and Chevys in Japan! That’s because imports to the United States far outweigh exports to Asian countries.
You may be happy about soybeans being the major cause of increase in exports to China in both October and November, but it is only because U.S. suppliers stepped in to fill a shortage caused by a drought for their normal supplier: Argentina.
U.S. semiconductor exports to China were down $1.5 billion in the first 11 months of 2009, as the U.S. trade deficit for advanced technology goods hit a record in November. Exports of consumer goods and industrial materials showed slight declines.
Further gains in U.S. exports to China might be difficult because of what most economists agree is a significantly undervalued Chinese currency, which gives Chinese companies a big price advantage over foreign competitors. Exports rose, boosted by a weaker dollar, supporting the view that American manufacturers will be helped by a rebounding global economy.
Meanwhile, the annual U.S. trade gap appears likely to fall below $400 billion in 2009 for first time since 2001. Through the end of November, the trade gap totaled $340.6 billion.
Through November, the deficit with China is still the largest the United States incurs with any country. American manufacturers contend China is unfairly manipulating the value of its currency to gain trade advantages, a point President Barack Obama raised with Chinese leaders during his November visit to that country.
The global rebound is being led by China and other Asian nations. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. is predicting that its sales will rise in 2010, reflecting in part greater demand from China and other Asian markets.
Economists are looking for strong gains in exports to help manufacturers and the overall economy in 2010.
Let’s hope they are finally right.
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