A lot of people are still thinking that wages in China are like 1-2$ an hour since they are still making 10 cent parts. Fact is a lot of manufacturing is already done by robots and machines.


Quote Originally Posted by thriftyandboringinohio View Post

But in reality we have set up long supply chains that wrap around the world and pass through lots of countries.
If we imagine a sudden and total embargo on all goods from China, I doubt that we could build cars or passenger jets or washing machines or cell phones.

People who don't work in manufacturing might be surprised at the number of individual piece parts that go into a product, especially electronic circuit boards.
By "piece part" I mean a thing that can't be divided into smaller sub components - a single rivet or a single resistor or a special paint coating.

We enjoy the low prices we get from global economies of scale for these piece parts, but that has resulted in near monopolies for each of them, with only one or two or three factories in the whole world making each one.
If we boycott China we'll need to build factories and machinery to start producing these ten cent piece parts by the million, and they won't be available for the 3 years it would take to gear up to build them in the US or Europe.

A few years ago there was a typhoon in southeast Asia that damaged factories in Thailand and Cambodia.
Our local Honda final assembly plant shut down for weeks and no Civics or Accords were built because they could not get the components made at that factory - a power steering pump or brake cylinder or whatever it was.