People’s Daily recently published an analysis article evaluating whether there is a chance that manufacturers in China can be attracted to the United States, which is a critical cornerstone of Trump’s strategy. However, capital always seeks low-cost, high-profit destinations. The most profitable industry for the U.S. is the financial industry instead of manufacturing. The last three projects Trump had before he won the presidency resulted in U.S. manufacturers losing at least US$350 million to low-cost Chinese products. Trump’s campaign T-Shirts were made in China and Honduras. Robots can help, but that won’t add more jobs. The U.S. may be able to improve on the high-end manufacturing as a high-tech power, but that won’t significantly improve employment. The article also identified the lack of blue collar labor resources in the U.S. population as a major problem to re-establish manufacturing on a large scale. Manufactures are more likely to move to India, Vietnam, Myanmar, or Cambodia instead of the U.S. Another immediate obstacle the U.S. will face is that the United States no longer has the full supply chain from the natural resource to supporting parts suppliers. The author concluded that Trump was just bragging – the best case is that he could move manufacturers out of China, but not into the U.S.
Source: People’s Daily, December 31, 2016