U.S. Trade and Tax Policies Conspire to Stymie U.S. Manufacturing

January 05, 2017

In Global economic forces conspire to stymie U.S. manufacturing, Brookings’ David Dollar contends that job loss in manufacturing derives primarily from technological change, not from trade. If this were truly the sole cause, why have virtually all our trading partner been able to better deal with these technological changes and avoid the increasing trade deficit that the U.S. political elite have inflicted on America’s working class?

[Hugh J. Campbell| January 4, 2017 |USW]

The answer is our trading partners have domestic friendly trade and tax policies that enable them to better deal with the technological changes that have occurred.

Donald Trump achieved his Electoral College victory, in no small part, by vilifying the United States’ increasing trade deficit, just as progressives have for decade. The appointment of Dr. Peter Navarro to head the White House National Trade Council, which is welcomed by United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard and other American labor leaders, is intended to reshape U.S. Trade Policy to promote domestic production and job creation, rather than as a foreign policy tool as it has been in the past.                                                                                                                    

Progressives should be on the lookout for and support Navarro’s initiatives to mitigate currency manipulation, border taxes on U.S. exports by our trading partners and tax benefits to corporations that incentivize the offshoring of U.S. jobs.

Expect both the mainstream media and think tanks like Brookings to be critical of Dr. Peter Navarro’s initiatives, since they can’t help being influenced by their advertisers and donors, who have been beneficiaries of the U.S. trade deficit.


Hugh Campbell is a seasoned financial professional, currently providing subject matter expertise on a variety of regulatory topics, including the Dodd-Frank Act, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and overall compliance monitoring. Hugh has previously held positions as Chief Risk Officer (CRO), Chief Audit Executive (CAE) and Director of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Compliance.

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  • William Ryan
    Bruce thanks for your always insightful comments . I do appreciate your views and knowledge greatly…Over at EPI.org they show the top 13 most important charts for 2016. Please take a look at chart #13 as it shows mfg employment vs trade deficit with China is most interesting.
  • Bruce Bishop
    Peter Navarro is the co-author of the book “Death by China.” Anyone who wants to understand why Trump has selected Navarro to be on his team should be familiar with that book. There is a documentary video on YouTube of “Death by China,” and a five minute trailer that gives a quick overview of the book. China has been cheating us for decades. Trump recognizes this and is prepared to force China to “play fair.” China knows that they have been screwing us, and they understand that, now, they will have to meet us half way. China needs our market more than we need China. They will bluster, but they will ultimately work with Trump on a “win-win” solution to balancing our trade.
  • Bruce Bishop
    If job loss was caused by “technological change,” we would be eating China’s lunch — not the other way around. China has taken millions of our jobs because they have ultra-cheap labor, including the wages and salaries that are represented in the cost of material, energy and overhead. China also has near zero “compliance costs,” where our “compliance costs” are astronomical and growing, due to our ever-growing government regulations.

    Most of the job loss caused by “technological change” had happened by the early eighties — before China even appeared on the scene.

    There are two big lies that are hurting U.S. workers. The first lie is that technology has taken our jobs — not cheap Chinese labor.

    The second lie is that there is a “shortage” of U.S. engineers and programmers. This lie allows U.S. corporations to import tens of thousands of H-1B workers from India, who will work for a fraction of what U.S. engineers and programmers were being paid.

    The “globalists” — economists, college professors, and journalists — who have been pushing for globalization, will change their tune when their employers start importing economists, college professors and journalists from India on H-1B visas, who will work for half of what these twits are being paid. Karma is a beeotch.
  • William Ryan
    We all should be 100% behind Mr. Navarro and Mr. Lighthizer new trade policies as we go into the new year. We will be watching for the huge backlash from the beneficiaries who enriched themselves and conspired to undermine American manufacturing for many years. The flawed and unfair trade policies of the past will finally be put behind us by President Trump once and for all. But we still need to urgently reinstate the Glass- Stiegal provision to separate FDIC money from the shadow banks and hedge fund gamblers on Wall St. or everything gained from improved trade and commerce could be all lost again from the big 6 banks… Also EPI.com has evidence to the contrary that shows that much mfg job loss was not mainly from technology…