The subject of making America great again has been thrust to the front burner of Americans lives since the advent of Donald Trump as a viable presidential candidate. Donald Trump is claiming that he will "make America great again", and that he will bring the jobs back to America. Actually the first can not be accomplished without doing the second. Sp the question comes down to, "how are we going to bring our jobs back from China"?
one fo the most basic economic laws is the fact that "jobs" always the "Purchase Orders". Which ever country and/or business gets the "orders" will be the one that hires the workers. The ones that lose the "orders" will be laying off workers. So the question is, what has to be done so that U.S. retailers will begin sending their new purchase orders to manufacturers in American rather than manufacturers in China?
With Free Trade, retail competition forces U.S. retailers to send their new "orders" to the lower cost manufacturers in China. As long as we have free trade, the "orders" will continue going to China until such time that U.S. manufacturers can get their production costs down to the level of China's. With labor costs being so much lower in China than in the U.S. it will be many years, perhaps decades, before manufacturing costs will be relatively equal.
Donald Trump has been talking about using tariffs to bring the "jobs" back to America. This means that he will use tariffs to bring the "orders" back to manufacturers in America. To do this the tariffs would have to be high enough that the prices on products from China would be very near the price of similar products made in the U.S. Today a typical $100 "Made in America" product can be made in China for around $38.
To equalize product prices would take a tariff of around 150% or more, which would certainly lead to a tariff war. Also, consumers, and voters, having to pay "made in USA" prices for products "made in China" would be in rebellion.
The main problem with trying to use tariffs to bring the "orders" and "jobs" back to America is that, while tariffs are being ramped-up, the retailers of the U.S. would still be sending their "orders" to manufacturers in China. They would just be paying more for the products they import, raising prices to consumers. U.S. manufaturers, and their out-of-work employees, would still be "sitting on the sidelines".
With the manufacturing costs being so different between the U.S. and China, bringing the "orders" back using tariff-induced price-equalization is unrealistic, and for the most part, unachievable. The new trade policy being promoted by the New Hope for America Foundation would bring the "orders" back to the U.S. manufacturers by merely changing who does the importing. This concept was used very successfully by Japan following WWII, and would permit the U.S. to eliminate all tariffs on products entering the U.S. This is a realistic and positive step towards making America great again.
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