Read PDF Saving American Manufacturing : The Fight for Jobs, Opportunity, and National Security

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Jeffrey Kucik does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. With the U. On May 14, for example, Trump said his tariffs helped save the U.

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So is the trade war making Americans better off or worse? The answer makes a big difference to the economic welfare of American workers. And, with the elections soon approaching, it may help determine whether Trump is able to remain in the Oval Office. Since Trump announced tariffs on more than 1, Chinese products on April 3, , about 2.

This includes , jobs in manufacturing , the sector of the economy that hemorrhaged over 5 million positions from to , a problem blamed on free trade and China. Some of the biggest gainers over the last year are industries like fabricated metals, machinery and electronic instruments, all of which saw gains of 15, to almost 30, jobs over the past year. And they may even show why the U.

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Of the 20 major manufacturing categories in the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data , only six have grown faster during the trade war — which arguably began with the threat of widespread tariff increases in April of — than in previous years. One such practice is dumping, in which countries subsidize products, such as steel, and sell them abroad for less than their market value. Since then the U. Some Democratic lawmakers, labor groups, and manufacturers also criticize the deficit on the grounds that some foreign countries—especially China—have used unfair practices like currency manipulation, wage suppression, and government subsidies to boost their exports, while blocking U.

Research by Peterson Institute economists C. Fred Bergsten and Joseph E. Research by the Economic Policy Institute suggests that the surge in Chinese imports has lowered wages for non-college-educated workers and cost the United States 3.

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Many economists fear that import-related job losses are driving a populist backlash to trade and globalization that will cause political volatility. Some economists worry about the consequences of large and persistent imbalances. Former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and Jared Bernstein, an economic advisor to Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, have argued that the large inflows of foreign capital that accompany trade deficits can lead to financial bubbles and may have contributed to the U.

Others note that a growing deficit has been associated with a weak economy, as in the early s, which they say is evidence of the potential for a large deficit to drain demand from the domestic economy and slow growth when the economy is performing under its potential. For many economists, however, the trade deficit has been scapegoated, and they argue that the trade deficit is not itself a problem for the U. Economists highlight that the singular role of the U. This means that the U. Some economists warn [PDF] that moving toward a U.

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  • Many economists stress that trade boosts the overall economy by lowering prices and increasing productivity. Rather than protecting struggling industries, he says, policy should focus on giving people the skills to compete and flourish in an ever-changing world. Economists also note that traditional ways of measuring economic health, such as gross domestic product GDP and trade statistics, have difficulty accounting for the rapid growth of the digital economy and the new types of jobs it created. Dartmouth College trade expert Douglas Irwin concurs, pointing to past failed attempts to use protectionist policies to close trade deficits.

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    Others point out that there is no correlation between trade deficits and overall unemployment, suggesting that even as imports threaten jobs in one sector, jobs are created in others. Irwin and others worry that too much focus on the trade deficit could lead to a revival of protectionism and a new global trade war that would make everyone worse off, especially in an era of supply chains that cross many borders. Promises that restrictions on imports from China or elsewhere will revive manufacturing, they say, ignore that technology plays a much larger role in deindustrialization than does trade, and that the U.

    He also promised to label China a currency manipulator, a designation that experts say would have had few concrete effects, but ultimately changed his mind. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has argued that the problem is high tariffs, subsidies, and other barriers facing U. He says that U.

    New book presents the case for saving U.S. manufacturing and how to make it happen

    Nixon and Reagan both threatened allies like Japan and Germany with unilateral tariffs to persuade them to revalue their currencies. A weaker dollar would likely boost U. Economic reforms in surplus nations could help. Bergsten and Gagnon argue that the United States should pressure countries that use foreign reserve purchases to manipulate their exchange rates by having the U.

    Economic developments in this country have a major influence on production, employment, and prices beyond our borders; at the same time, developments abroad significantly affect our economy. Further, because of the enormous size of the U. Reserve Bank of NY, Jan.

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    This results in U. When U. Foreign investors pull in other outside investment as the foreign economy grows. This benefits U.

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    • For example, the U. Components of these aircraft are outsourced to manufacturers in Italy and Switzerland to boost these economies and to aid U. The value to the U.

      Whether through an offset program or as a stand-alone import of goods, outsourcing tends to allow the U. Cost of labor in the U.

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      Outsourcing promotes globalization, which is a new source of growth for U. These figures are based on the U. Bureau Labor Statistics hourly direct pay data, www. One of the most pointed-out arguments against outsourcing is the concern of jobs being lost in the U. Companies that outsource to foreign countries tend to hire less skilled workers whenever the work does not require a high skill level to manufacture products. This results in Americans holding higher skill level jobs. It is argued that outsourcing takes away immediate jobs for unskilled U.