This story about the breakdown of the costs of an iPod made me rethink my sang-froid.
$163 of the iPod's $299 retail value in the United States was captured by American companies and workers, breaking it down to $75 for distribution and retail costs, $80 to Apple, and $8 to various domestic component makers. Japan contributed about $26 to the value added [...] The unaccounted-for parts and labor costs involved in making the iPod came to about $110.
I would imagine that much of the "unaccounted-for parts and labor costs" is Chinese. So which countries' economies benefit from an iPod sold in the US? The technical knowhow and design are American (54%) and Japanese (9%). Yet, Chinese manufacturers receive about 37% of the benefit.
Don't tell me that American competitiveness is not reduced when a product designed in the US has to be produced at a 37% cost.