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Scott Lincicome @scottlincicome
, 7 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Excellent, myth-shattering research from @sffed on American consumption & imports:…
TL;DR: only ~11% of US consumption dollars are spent on imports (only ~2% from China); BUT abt HALF of these dollars go to US firms/workers & half of imports are inputs /1
Fig 2: when Americans buy imports, the ones "made in CHINA" generate the most revenue (~56 cents for every dollar spent) for US firms/workers;
Fig 3: imports from NAFTA countries (esp Canada) are most often industrial inputs for US manufacturing /2
Also interesting: even for goods (which are more easily tradable) US consumers spend well under half of their dollars (42.4%) on imports.
(Note also the significant shares of US content in imports & vice versa) /3
A couple anecdotes hit this home: /4
Another big pt: the import share of US consumption has been relatively stable for at least 15 years (no big, recent import "shock"); Chinese imports surged, but just replaced other (mainly Japanese) imports: /5
This allows for some important conclusions abt imports (esp from China), US jobs (supporting & supported by the import sales), & the additional harms US protectionism causes *US* firms/workers (incl in manufacturing) /6
It also underscores the wrongness of pretending we're being swamped by Chinese/etc imports ("we don't make anything!"), of using gross import data (esp trade balances) as a trade/economic scoreboard, or of assuming imports are a net "drag" on growth (even in manufacturing) /x
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