State of international industrial suppliers

Here’s the situation.
I’m looking to purchase a few items, the total varies from $41USD + shiping, to $90CDN + taxes (locally). If I do next day, overnight delivery, it’s like $35USD. It’s still cheaper to do it from down in the states, saves me from driving anywhere.
I’m blabbing.
My point is, how can a local market compete, when there is a cheaper solution, that’s more convienient online?
And even across a different contenent. Forexample, I was not able to find an eprom programmer cheaply anywhere in North America. I bought it from a guy in HK. And a daughter board from Thailand. Or was it Vietnam?
K, fine, maybe it’s assembled from child labour, but the workmanship was decent, and it’s a silk screened board, with all the bells and whistles. Made from quality 3M zif sockets, and what not.
Is it that these immerging markets know how to compete? Is the North American market so greedy, that they won’t make a sale, unless it hits a given profit margin?
Is profit not profit? Albeit, if you only make a few pennies, it’s not worth while, unless you’re doing high volume. But common?
Another example, local market wanted to charge me $380CDN + taxes for a precision drill chuck. I was able to get that from the states at $169+shipping.
I asked if they would compete, and they were a blatant “No, we cannot do that”.
The place I got it from price competed with another location as well, to give me the price I wanted.
Heck, I was a happy customer, and am willing to go back to them without much issue. Or even their sister companies.

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