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Trump Faces Colossal Challenges to Restoring U.S. Competitiveness

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On the campaign trail this year, Donald Trump repeatedly cited the roughly $800 billion goods trade deficit that the U.S. racked up in 2015. It’s a stunning figure, to be sure — and one that accurately depicts the continued hemorrhage of American wealth and productivity as more and more of the nation’s working- and middle-class jobs disappear, and manufacturing establishments shut down or move overseas.

For decades, the popular media has simplistically explained away the loss of factories and jobs as a natural result of free trade and globalization. A current theme is that the cause of all lost manufacturing jobs is automation. While that factor has played some role, Carrier and companies like it are not moving to Mexico or China for better robots. Overall, these assertions are the result of a narrow, ideological, ill-informed worldview that overlooks far greater problems.

Under the Trump trade regimen, other countries … will no longer be able to develop by stealing market share in the United States and displacing U.S. factories and jobs.

In fact, while the United States has benevolently maintained the world’s most open market for decades, America’s major trading partners have instead preyed on American firms through a variety of calculated tactics. The result? American industries and companies have paid a huge price from such targeted assaults. – READ MORE

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