One chart that proves why Trump’s trade war against China is a smart political move
Trump’s trade war simplifies a complicated issue: the vast majority of manufacturing jobs lost since 2000 have generally been the result of automation or technological improvements, not China.
Employment in manufacturing fell by a third since the 1980s.
Trump could make businesses that automate manufacturing processes an adversary. Instead he’s picked a fight with China. About a sixth of manufacturing job losses are linked to Chinese competetion, but a sixth is not “most.”
Research shows that U.S. counties exposed to increased trade competition from China tended to swing politically more to the right as a result.
Economically the trade war may be complicated, but politically it’s obvious why Trump wants it.
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Last week, President Trump increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. While consumers have been generally unscathed by the trade war with China so far, this new escalation will have direct effects on consumer products and raise prices for shoppers and retailers.
As an economic policy, the trade war is complicated. As a political one, it makes a ton of sense for Donald Trump.
Employment in US manufacturing fell from 18.9 million jobs in 1980 to 12.2 million today. The explanation for that is complicated, and Trump is attempting to make it deceptively simple.
He’s playing into a common misconception, that China stole American jobs when the real culprit is automation. Even more, that message is most relevant in the very places he won big in 2016 and must win big in 2020 to keep the presidency.
Imports from China are estimated to be responsible for a sixth of the manufacturing jobs lost in the 2000s. But one-sixth is not a majority. The real cause is automation, which another study estimated was responsible for 87 percent of those job losses.
It …read more
Source:: Business Insider