Time Magazine has a great article about the miracle of international trade. In the US, we are used to everything being "made in China." Who would think that one of the most Chinese things (at least from an American perspective), chop sticks, are actually imported to China from a small town in Georgia?
The idea is comparative advantage: the US is better at making chop sticks because we have great wood (not a reference to Rep. Weiner). The unfortunate thing is that chop sticks don't necessarily rake in the money. While we may be good at crafting tiny wood sticks, the Chinese are getting better at making solar panels and submarines. I don't mean to be critical, but our firms are too focused on developing "iClouds"and not enough at creating responsible and necessary technologies for the future. This has all been foretold. Read up on world-systems theory. Do it!