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In the United States, many things are “Made in China.” One small American company in Georgia, however, is making traditional Chinese chopsticks. They’re sending these “Made in America” chopsticks to China.
Some Asian countries use chopsticks to eat food. They’re often made of wood or sometimes plastic. China makes most of the world’s chopsticks. Several hundred Chinese companies make about 63 billion pairs of chopsticks a year. Those companies need more wood.
Areas in China and Japan have run out of wood, but the American State of Georgia has a lot of wood. Georgia’s wood has a nice color. Companies have to use chemicals or bleach to lighten much of the Asian wood. The wood in Georgia is already light.
One small company in the American city of Americus, Georgia, has the solution to the shortage of wood for chopsticks. The company is called Georgia Chopsticks.
They started making chopsticks for export to China. Jae Lee, the president of Georgia Chopsticks, is Korean American. He says that the world market for chopsticks is huge. It costs Jae Lee less than one cent to make a pair of chopsticks.
“Right now, we’re making about two million pairs of chopsticks per day. But we are increasing. End of this month, we’ll have seven machines coming in. So it’ll increase to four million per day. End of this year, we’ll produce ten million per day.”
Georgia Chopsticks isn’t making any money yet. Jae Lee needs to make more than four million chopsticks a day to make a profit. He hopes to make a profit in the next month or two.
About one-third of the world uses chopsticks. For example, Japan uses about 23 billion pairs of chopsticks each year.
China is a huge country. They’ve made basic products for the U.S. for years. Now the United States is making a basic product for China.