Living Without China in Our Lives

This year, our annual Agora Financial Symposium going on right now in Vancouver is based around the crisis and opportunity found in global investing – with an emphasis on Asia. So, as we flipped through the paper today, we had China on the brain.

An article called “Living Without Chinese Imports” caught our eye. Hmmm…it seems like everything has a “Made in China” tag on it. How would it be possible to live without using Chinese products?

Well, as the woman conducting this experiment realized, it is nearly impossible. In her book, A Year Without “Made in China”, author Sara Bongiorni wanted to see how deeply our international trade ties with China really run. The Reuters article was careful to point out that Bongiorni had no protectionist agenda – she was simply intrigued by the connections America has to the Chinese economy.

Reuters reports:

“I wanted our story to be a friendly, nonjudgmental look at the ways ordinary people are connected to the global economy,’ she said in an interview before the book appears in July.

“As a business journalist in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Bongiorni wrote about international trade for a decade. ‘I used to see the Commerce Department trade statistics, the billions of dollars, and think it had nothing to do with me,’ she said.

“The reality was far different.

“As the year unfolded, ‘the boycott made me rethink the distance between China and me. In pushing China out of our lives, I got an eye-popping view of how far China had pushed in,’ she wrote.”

Indeed they have…we have become increasingly dependent on the gee-gaws and gadgets coming in from China at Everyday Low Prices – in fact, 15% of the $1.7 trillion in goods America imported last year came from China.

So where is the opportunity to profit – and where should investors be wary of putting their money? We are trying to answer those very questions this week in Vancouver.

Kate Incontrera
for Markets and Money

Kate Incontrera
Kate Incontrera is the managing editor of Markets and Money. She is also the author of Markets and Money's Weekend Edition, a weekly wrap-up of contrarian investment analysis.

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The problem/opportunity (depending on which way you look at it), is that more and more products beyond the “gee-gaws and gadgets” are imported from China every day.

Dangerous to think of China as exporting only low-value $2-shop products, as this just ain’t the case.

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