We import a lot because it is cheaper to have stuff made over seas and shipped back to us. Exporting has always been one of those things - we actually have to make something other countries want to export. Our companies will continue to import so long as they can find cheaper labor elsewhere than here. If we really wanted to improve our own economy we'd make it harder or more expensive for these companies to do this and make them pay everyone here a higher minimum wage. Minimum wage here has lowered ridiculously. If we calculate it's original value for inflation it'd be over $22 an hour. Back in the days it was that high the economy was doing really well. Right now it's $7.25 an hour.