The problem is its going to continue to skyrocket as long as the United States is fighting off a recession, two wars and high oil prices. US President Barack Obama thus has his work cut out for him, problems left behind by George W. Bush, and his problems are quantified by the statement that "Most Americans don't buy American, they buy Chinese."
"Most Americans don't buy American, they buy Chinese."That is not completely true. What is true that on average the USA imports $2 trillion USD worth of products every year of which approx. $300 billion is from China (approx 15%).
That is peanuts when you realize the USA only exports an average of $65 billion to China annually. The end result is an annual trade deficit of $235 billion taken out of the American economy and bolstering China's economy.
China is not the only country that enjoys a trade deficit with the United States. Japan, South Korea and numerous other countries trade heavily with the USA, often in products that Americans "need" in terms of electronics, but also a lot of products that could be made in North America but has been outsourced instead.
What the USA needs is more factories inside America that is hiring people, making products Americans can use (preferably products and equipment that will make them more competitive internationally) and are priced fairly.
Otherwise what we're opening ourselves up to is to communism... Oh dear, I said it. The dreaded C-word.
If the USA cannot shake off the recession and high unemployment rate America's economy will continue to flounder and will eventually be forced to create a more socialist-based economy as capitalism falls apart. This means government "work-fare programs", huge cutbacks to arts & culture funding (including Hollywood), an increase in food stamp usage, and a skyrocketing crime rate as Americans become more desperate for survival.
The 1st thing the USA needs to do is put a halt on all free trade discussions with Asia. America isn't ready for such big trading partners. The economy is too fragile right now.
The 2nd thing the USA needs to do is find cheaper alternatives to expensive oil. Oil prices are simply too high and its hampering transportation costs of materials/products. Hydrogen power perhaps.
The 3rd thing the USA needs to do is cut taxes on the poor, increase taxes on the rich. The poor will spend every dollar they have anyway, whereas the rich have a tendency to stick their money in the bank and sit on it.
The 4th thing is create tax breaks for companies that operate solely in the USA. This will benefit small businesses and new startups.
The 5th thing the USA needs to do is enforce mandatory retirements. Old people who keep working when they should be retired are essentially stealing jobs from younger Americans. Exceptions can be made for industries that have a shortage (ie. doctors), but otherwise these people need to be put out to pasture.
The end goal is to get more Americans working and building things again, creating opportunities for a new generation of hard working Americans.