Every now and then, at the tile factory we make little tiles for export to China.
Amazing! China actually imports stuff. But What I can't figure out is why they would import little roof tiles made with expensive French labour. And there is a lot of manual intervention on these tiles. It takes a team of four, minimum, to make them. A team of five would be better. Because the tiles are little, they don't fit on the converyor belts that move tiles around the factory. So they have to be stacked in piles of 10 by someone, and then another labourer stacks the piles onto the overhead chain transport system. Meanwhile, a third person is taking the tiles from the spaghetti machine that is spewing them out at the rate of one every second. The fourth person is the chef d'equipe and quality control.
I thought that maybe, with the growth of Chinese middle class and super rich there may be a demand for "Made in France". The Chinese are francophile and are becoming an imotant factor for French tourism.
But then I remembered that the Chinese forge all manner of jeans, perfumes and other branded products so putting "made in France" on their tiles wouldn't slow them down.
I've now decided it must be some kind of political/economic trade deal thing. We'll let you export your cheap clothes if you'll take our tiles.
The final thought that depressed the hell out of me is that they probably use the tiles for roadfill!