Outsourcing The West To China
I don't think anyone expected American industrialists to decide en mass to gut America's manufacturing base and transfer it entirely to China. Certainly this is not something Adam Smith ever imagined when he wrote the Wealth of Nations. He assumed, as we did, that American manufacturers would put American workers first, would put their own factories first.
He would have been shocked to find American, British, German and other Western manufacturers transferring patents, machine tools, industrial secrets, experts and processes to a foreign country. But transfer they did. The temptation was simply too great. They could build new factories at a fraction of the price, install new equipment (thank you Germany and Japan), and produce the same products at a far lower labor rate. Even with transportation included, the profits from this exchange were tremendous.