Consider General Motors. Last year, for the first time, GM sold more vehicles in China than in the United States. But 99 percent of the 2.35 million vehicles GM sold in China were made in Chinese factories by Chinese workers; just 11,796 were made in the United States.
In some ways, though, the United States is benefiting from the rise of living standards and consumer markets in China, India and other developing countries.
Exports have been one of the U.S. economy's strengths as it strains to climb back from the Great Recession. The United States last year exported $1.29 trillion in goods, up nearly 21 percent from 2009. A record $92 billion worth of U.S. goods went to China.
"We're going to be looking to consumers in China and Brazil and elsewhere as new engines for the global recovery," says Lael Brainard, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for international affairs.
Associated Press Writers Sharon Silke Carty in Detroit, Zhao Liang in Beijing and Anita Chang in Dongguan, China, contributed to this report.