What we buy from China

Our top categories of imports, by billions of dollars:

$8.6 Shoes
$6.1 Toys
$5.6 Input-output units
$5.1 Data processing machine parts
$3.2 VCRs
$2.6 Wood furniture
$2.0 Transmission equipment
$1.7 Data storage units

Get past the first two categories, and this is not just low-tech junk at your local Wal-Mart.

Now, consider our top imports from China, as a percentage of the overall imports in the stated category:

88% Radios
87% Christmas and festive items
83% Toys
70% Leather goods
67% Shoes
67% Handbags
65% Lamps and lights

From The Fruits of Free Trade, a publication by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the piece offers many nice illustrations of the benefits of trade.

In the average can of mixed nuts, you might find almonds from Italy, walnuts from china, Brazil nuts from Bolivia [sic], cashews from India, pistachios from Turkey, hazelnuts from Canada – a true international assortment.

Being a nut lover, that was my favorite bit from the brochure.


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