It's kind of ironic that cheap Western exports destroyed the native industries in India and China during the 19th century...............
What you fail to understand is the basic foundation of consumerism. Having employees in China or India making Ipads and paying then $10 a day (but actually much less then that) prevents them from becoming consumers so you have just cut your ability to sell to 2 billion people. It's due to this "advantages" in South-East Asia which has allowed the US and Europe to live of the teat of their labor. It allows for massive debt driven consumption in the 1st world. While those in the 3rd world toil for wages which would never seem them increase their living standards. The only way you prevent US or European jobs leaving is creating parity in wages and working conditions, first, then as a country becoming good at something.
China is fantastic at assembly work. US is good in IT development along with Ireland.. French have their wines and the Germans are fantastic at a few things as well.. and since we are now a Global economy.. we have to view the world in those terms. But we can't when we shut out 2 billion of the possible consumer base.
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office. H.L Mencken
It has always caused me pause that health care and fuel don't follow the cheapest guy gets the business but kitchen appliances and T-Shirts do. I believe what goes around comes around, that as one nation profits from extremely low wages and cheap goods for export it does grow a consumer base. While the workers don't immediately jump up and Unionize they will eventually. Right now for many rural Chinese the factory barracks and noodle diet is far above what they had out in the sticks where hunting and farming held them at starvation levels. The multinational factory owners can find a new nation who's starving citizens would love the luxury of barracks and noodles but it is slash and burn subsistence. What would be justice of a sort is eventually it is our nation dreaming of those barracks and noodles!
Now as far as what a nation is good at right now, I wouldn't set that in stone. that too has passed from nation to nation.