Imports/Exports of Many Kinds

I couldn’t help but notice the symbolism of imported manufactured goods piling up in ports alongside piled up recycled goods destined for offshore ports to be made into finished goods. The symbolism being that at the same time the flow of goods is halting, so to is the flow of dollars leaving the American economy only to be recycled into Treasuries and other debt instruments.

200811200915.jpg But the inventory glut in Long Beach is not limited to imported cars. There has also been a sharp drop in demand for the port’s single largest export: recycled cardboard and paper products.

This material typically goes to China, where it is used to make boxes for new electronics and other products that are sent back to the United States. But Chinese factories reacting to sharply falling demand are slowing production, so they need less cardboard. Tons of paper are piling up recycling businesses around the port, the detritus of economies on hold.

[From A Sea of Unwanted Imports - NYTimes.com]

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