This morning on ABC’s This Week, host Christiane Amanpour devoted a portion of her show to discussing the declining trend of manufacturing in America, showcasing the problem by emptying a house of all the goods that were not made in America. “In 1960, foreign goods made up just 8 percent of Americans’ purchases. Today, nearly 60 percent of everything we buy is made overseas.”
Amanpour invited Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to discuss the topic, who exhibited his own faulty understanding of the problem:
McCAIN: I would also point out that if you’d emptied that house there, if you’d left a computer there or an iPad or an iPhone, those are built in the United States of America.
Later in the show, Leo Gerard, the president of the United Steelworkers Union, corrected McCain. “The reality is that when you talk about the high-end stuff — the iPad and the iPhone are made in China, they’re not made in America,” he noted. Watch it:
In fact, the Taiwanese-based electronic manufacturing company Foxconn makes the iPad and the iPhone. Foxconn gained notoriety last year when its overworked employees began committing a rash of suicides. Many other Taiwanese companies also benefit from the Apple supply chain.
McCain is hardly the expert that political shows should turn to when discussing technology. As former FCC chairman Reed Hundt told Amanda Terkel in 2008, “Basically, John is a technological troglodyte and proud of it.” McCain said during the campaign that he “never felt the particular need to e-mail.” McCain has admitted to being a computer “illiterate that has to rely on my wife for all the assistance I can get.”