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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Chinese Goods

I am currently working on The Pendulum Files, the fifth book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series. It is due to be released in the spring of 2014 by Drake Valley Press.

Dylan Maguire's next assignment is to interrogate recently captured terrorists suspected of bombing shipments originating in China and bound for the United States. As you can imagine, the case is not as straight forward as one might think and the twists and turns lead him in directions he never could have imagined.

As part of my research, I've been looking at statistics of imports versus exports and here are a few interesting tidbits I've found out:

In 2001, the United States exported $19.2 billion dollars worth of goods to China while importing $102.3 billion dollars worth of goods from China, an imbalance of 83%.

Within ten years, the amount of goods exported by the United States rose to $103.9 billion dollars - but the amount of goods imported from China has risen to $354.9 billion dollars. Though our exported goods have risen, the trade imbalance in 2011 had grown to a whopping 399.3%.

What do we export to China?

Vehicles, aircraft, medical equipment, plastics, copper and organic chemicals are among the top ten.

What do we import from China?

Toys, games, furniture, footwear, apparel, iron, steel and vehicles are in the top ten.

What do Chinese workers earn?

There is a growing number of middle-income families in China, thanks to the increasing salaries of the average worker. The highest paid workers are in Beijing, with an average salary of $730 a month. If employees worked 40 hours a week, that comes out to an average of $4.56 per hour. However, the average employee actually works six and often seven days a week and they usually are not compensated for overtime as they are in the United States. They have only three holidays per year.

Still, that is good pay compared to a place such as Bangladesh, whose average hourly wage of a garment factory employee is 15 cents per hour. The average CEO of a garment company earns roughly $2,995 an hour - the equivalent of 19,966 Bangladesh employees combined.


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