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Are You a Part of the Global Supply Chain and Don’t Know It?

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You’ve heard it before, and maybe you’re concerned about it. Many jobs, and often entire industries have been pushed to other countries. In an effort to keep labor costs low, so many companies have indeed taken many jobs offshore. There is a renewed fervor among many to bring the production of a lot of goods back to the USA. But even in 2016, U.S. exports stood at $2.2 trillion. Of course, imports are at $2.71 trillion, thus the trade deficit. Still, $2.2 trillion is by no means ‘shabby’. And the global supply chain has so many vital links right here in America that you may not realize.

Links in Manufacturing

BMW assembly line at the Spartanburg, South Carolina factory
BMW

The German car company has a factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In 2015, BMW’s exports out of the factory totaled $9.8 billion, making it the #1 U.S. automotive exporter by value.

Boeing factory in North Charleston, South Carolina
Boeing

The aerospace company is the largest single exporter in the U.S. They manufacture expensive planes, with the majority of them being sold to airlines overseas. Every one of their employees and local suppliers is a part of the global supply chain.

Links in Services

Services account for approximately 80% of economic activity in the U.S. Plus there is a $250 billion annual trade surplus in services. U.S. service workers are doing jobs that in theory could be done in other countries. But thanks to the global supply chain, we’re keeping service jobs on our shores.

Service workers such as taxi drivers, hotel employees, airport workers, they’re all a part of the global supply chain for travel. The theme park employee who served you some funnel cake or gave your child their ride ticket? They’re a part of it.

In 2015, 77 million people visited the U.S. from other countries. Each time these travelers conducted a financial transaction, U.S. national accounts gained an export. The number of Americans who visit foreign countries is significantly lower, giving us a handsome trade surplus in travel. $208 billion in exports, compared to just $121 billion in imports in 2016.

Links in Energy

Natural gas fracking well near Shreveport, Louisiana

Natural-gas drilling in Louisiana, oil refineries in Texas, and coal mines in Kentucky are important components in the GSC. All of their employees are what make it possible for consumers and businesses around the world to have crucial energy.

 

Links in Media & Sports

American actor Chris Evans as brand ambassador for Fila China

Have you ever been on a trip to another country and seen a commercial for a foreign brand that featured an American celebrity? That counts as an export. Sporting events such as the NBA Finals become instant exports, as they are broadcast in over 200 countries and territories. The global supply chain for content is dominated by the U.S.

 

So, are you a part of the global supply chain?

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