The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

What Does “Made in China” Really Mean?

Jul 23, 2018

Trump is constantly tweeting about the trade deficit with China. And for many workers it does seem like everything is made in China. But what does that really mean?

The iPhone that Trump tweets with shows that “Made in China” means much less than Trump or other politicians would have us think. The display is made in South Korea. The memory chip is made in Japan. The design and many other components come from the United States. Other parts come from Europe and Taiwan, and materials come from Africa. Only the final assembly is done in China. And that final assembly accounts for only 3 to 6 percent of the cost to make an iPhone! But current trade statistics count most of the manufacturing cost in China’s export numbers, greatly overstating the trade deficit with China.

The big politicians and corporations know all this perfectly well. But they still love to complain about China “stealing our jobs.” That’s because they want workers here to blame foreign workers for our problems!