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Preview of global trade graphic

Pacific Rim Trade: a Great Blue Highway Out There

• June 19, 2012 • 4:00 AM

The staggering, often surprising, scope of stuff being bought and sold across the Pacific.

While the triangle trade once dominated the American economy, these days the United States’ biggest trading partners by far are fellow Pacific Rim nations. In the current issue of Pacific Standard the graphic below highlights the staggering scope and scale of goods that move between Ring of Fire nations and the U.S.

Preview of global trade graphic

(Designed by Column Five)

Though NAFTA dominates the podium positions—thanks largely in part to Canada and Mexico being our first and third largest suppliers of crude oil, respectively—each year it gets harder to find products on American shelves without that ubiquitous label: “Made in [insert Asian country name here].” And in turn the U.S. ships out the finished goods at which it’s usually excelled: airplanes, semiconductors, and automobiles. China sends us computers and we send them garbage—it’s a great blue, trans-Pacific highway out there.

Matt Skenazy
Matt Skenazy, an assistant editor at Outside magazine, is a former Pacific Standard fellow. His articles have appeared in Sierra, Men’s Journal, the Surfer’s Journal, and Climbing, among others publications.

More From Matt Skenazy


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