Trade war with China suffocating US manufacturers

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/30 20:58:49

A worker stacks finished windshields after checking for flaws at the Fuyao Glass America plant in the US state of Ohio. Photo: IC

US President Donald Trump's plan to "Make America Great Again" will come to naught due to US manufacturing woes.

Reviving US manufacturing has been a key goal for the Trump administration, but a Commerce Department report released on Tuesday showed manufacturing made up just 11 percent of GDP in the second quarter, the lowest level since 1947. 

According to the US Labor Department, factories shed 2,000 jobs in September. In a Wall Street Journal economic survey conducted in recent weeks, two-thirds of economic forecasters said the manufacturing sector was in recession, which is defined as two or more consecutive quarters of contraction.

The Trump administration has placed manufacturing at the center of its economic strategy. The plan to "Make American Great Again" is doomed to fail if the strategy focuses on bringing back jobs in manufacturing and establishing complete industry chains in the US.

Flows of capital from developed countries to nations with pools of low-cost labor have remained robust in recent years. 

If some countries erect barriers to economic ties or even try to reverse the long-term trend, it will violate economic rules and damage the interests of manufacturers. 

More than a year after the start of the US-China trade war, few American manufacturers have moved their operations back to the US. Instead, some of them shifted production from China to low-cost sites in Southeast Asia. 

The trade war isn't helping bring manufacturing jobs back to the US - instead, it's causing serious damage to US manufacturing industries because of the rise in prices of imported raw materials. 

The trade war is the direct cause of US manufacturing woes. The downturn in manufacturing in the US adds to evidence that the trade policies adopted by the US government are wrong. 

The trade war has resulted in a reorganization of supply chains. In this process, the US' role is being weakened by its protectionism. The most urgently needed action for the US is to maintain its share of global production and consolidate the country's position in international supply chains. 

This means that manufacturers doing business in the US need both imported raw materials and external markets. With the protectionist policies adopted by the US government, more US manufacturers will suffocate to death.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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