Mark, do you have a link to support your contention that America is importing an additional $59 billion in Chinese t-shirts yearly since 2007? That's how much our trade deficit has grown, and I have to admit I'm skeptical - that's a hell of a lot of t-shirts.
Or maybe "April 2015 US CO2 emissions from electric power hit the lowest monthly output since 1988" for the same reason Chinese emissions have climbed by 5 GT/yr since 1988. In 2015, 2 GT of those Chinese emissions were attributable to manufacturing products for export, and 30% of those exports came straight to the U.S. Ergo - 600 MT of emissions every year are now directly attributable to either 1) outsourcing American production to China, or 2) Chinese products which have replaced American ones.
How is that possible, if American industrial output is at an all-time high (never mind it's finally matched the same all-time high it set 10 years ago)?
What has changed is what is being manufactured. The U.S. makes jet engines, jet airplanes, advanced technology products. These are the things where there is high value added and thus those high wages can be paid.
"High value-added" is synonymous with "low intrinsic value" - instead of making patio chairs, lighting fixtures, frying pans, filing cabinets, etc. we're paying Chinese companies to do the dirty assembly work then (if necessary) putting on the finishing touches here. Which uses more energy, requires more energy-intensive raw materials production (like steel), and thus creates the vast bulk of emissions per unit value?
Seems that being a nation of overseers has a limited future; that the Chinese one day will grasp the idea that by being their own overseers they can bring all the bacon home. They're halfway there.
Boeing announces plans for a 737 "completion center" in China
America's Next New Buick Will be Made in China
T-shirts? They haven't been a hot Chinese export since Chairman Mao (more likely, they'll next be a hot American one).