The United States exports three times as much to Latin America as to China

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Weekly Address from the White House this week has done a bit of math for us:



"We now export more than three times as much to Latin America as we do to China, and our exports to the region will soon support more than two million jobs here in the United States. Brazil, the first stop on our trip, is a great example. In 2010, America's exports to Brazil supported more than 250,000 American jobs."

"Ahora exportamos más del triple a América Latina que a China, y nuestras exportaciones a la región pronnto respaldarán más de dos millones de empleos aquí en Estados Unidos. Brasil, la primera escala en nuestro viaje, es un gran ejemplo. En el 2010, las exportaciones de Estados Unidos a Brasil respaldaron más de 250,000 empleos en Estados Unidos."

To compare that to the GDP of China and Latin America in total, the easiest way is to ask Wolfram Alpha. It tells us that the GDP of Latin America is $3.9 trillion, while China's is $5.3 trillion. In other words, proximity results in four times more exports per dollar of total GDP when comparing the two (that is, in theory China's GDP would have to be four times that Latin America's for exports between the US and both regions to be equal). Something to keep in mind when talking with anyone you know with young children that is debating whether to send them to School A or School B and is pondering the merits of Spanish vs. Chinese or anything else.

On a related subject, I think I remember reading a paper a year or two ago saying that normalizing relations with Cuba would also create an instantaneous 30,000 jobs, mostly in Florida and related to the travel, banking and telecom industry.

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