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  1. #1901
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    As I have tried to point out- the US supply chain is inextrcably interwoven with China. There are virtually zero cell phones or laptop computers that are not, at the very least, assembled in China.

    Thats a non-starter.

    And as far as soybeans go- weather affects soybean production. There is not an infinite amount of land soy can be grown on. Most of the slack is being picked up by Brazil- and the burning of the Amazon is a pretty directly related phenomenon.

    But, assuming that the Brazilians and Argentines, who are number 2 and 3 worldwide, get more orders, they will simplly plant more acres. In Argentina, there is a lot of land in oil seed such as sunflower, that could be replanted by the same owners, using the same supply chain, to increase production. Same in Brazil.
    So there is zero guarantee that there is enough market for the US farmers to keep growing soybeans.
    And converting a big farm from one crop to another is expensive- most of these farmers are already quite extended, in terms of loans, and most banks probably wont loan em the money to convert.
    So its pretty much the Trump slush fund that is keeping a lot of midsize US farmers afloat right now- and should that end, for whatever reason, you will see fallout.
    The Trumpian Ag Secretary recently told small farmers, basically, "youre screwed".
    "In America, the big get bigger and the small go out. I don't think in America we, for any small business, we have a guaranteed income or guaranteed profitability."

    The fact that almost all consumer electronics have Chinese components or assembled in China currently doesn’t mean that will not change and change rapidly. Everything currently made in China can and will be made elsewhere. The reason the tariffs are being slowly increased is to give time for new supply chains to be built. The Chinese barred their teeth and declared their intention to build an empire and to do so at the USA’s expense. By forcing our supply chain out of China we do two things at once. First we starve the beast and secondly we tie other Asian economies closer to the USA and strengthen them by expanding their economies. I keep reading here about what a small percentage of total Chinese exports are to the USA. That’s not close to the whole picture. Much of the rest of China’s exports are destined for the USA as components in products assembled elsewhere. As those items are also tariffed their components sourcing will move also. Even though only some percentage of components are destined for the USA all the component sourcing will leave China. The USA needs nothing from China in the long run but the Chinese economy will drastically shrink without the US market. Exports are the lifeblood of the Chinese economy and as they shrink the rest of the Chinese economy will shrink also. With their current debt issues a shrinking economy will likely trigger economic collapse. I would hazard a guess that close to 40% of the Chinese economy is tied one way or another to exports to the USA.

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    What makes you think that any country would want its economy tied to the USA. What are the benefits of so doing?

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    Soybeans:

    “ Most of the slack is being picked up by Brazil”

    It seems that is clear now:
    368331cc-2ebc-4eed-897d-923ae635d8b5.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinjax View Post
    The fact that almost all consumer electronics have Chinese components or assembled in China currently doesn’t mean that will not change and change rapidly. Everything currently made in China can and will be made elsewhere. The reason the tariffs are being slowly increased is to give time for new supply chains to be built. The Chinese barred their teeth and declared their intention to build an empire and to do so at the USA’s expense. By forcing our supply chain out of China we do two things at once. First we starve the beast and secondly we tie other Asian economies closer to the USA and strengthen them by expanding their economies. I keep reading here about what a small percentage of total Chinese exports are to the USA. That’s not close to the whole picture. Much of the rest of China’s exports are destined for the USA as components in products assembled elsewhere. As those items are also tariffed their components sourcing will move also. Even though only some percentage of components are destined for the USA all the component sourcing will leave China. The USA needs nothing from China in the long run but the Chinese economy will drastically shrink without the US market. Exports are the lifeblood of the Chinese economy and as they shrink the rest of the Chinese economy will shrink also. With their current debt issues a shrinking economy will likely trigger economic collapse. I would hazard a guess that close to 40% of the Chinese economy is tied one way or another to exports to the USA.

    back to front- I think your "guess" is based on vaporware.

    The chinese economy last year was roughly $25 Trillion.
    Of that, $2.2 Trllion were exports
    Of that, about 18% was to the USA- which is down, this year.

    18% of 10% is not "close to 40%"


    Look- I make things in the USA for a living.
    Have for a long time.
    I try, whenever possible, to buy american.
    I believe in manufacturing here.

    But your speculation is just not realistic.

    "change rapidly"?

    Foxconn, which is just one company, has plants with litearally thousands of milling machines. They have one factory in China that is 1.4 square miles, with a couple hundred thousand employees, down from a peak of 400,000.

    How long do you think it takes to build a 1.4 mile square plant, and train 200,000 employees?
    How rapidly is "rapidly" ? Because I would guess 5 years.
    Took Boeing 3 years to build a big shed in South Carolina a tiny percentage of that size.

    And, do you see Caterpillar rapidly shutting down its 20 plants in China?
    Or Lincoln Electric (welders) closing down its six or more factories?
    What about GM- it currently sells more cars, and makes more money, in China, than it does here.
    Will they rapidly shut it all down and move back to Flint?

    The Chinese own OUR debt. Their biggest "debt issue" is will we go broke before their T bills come due.

    you dreamin, man.

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    7 Billion plus in 2017 . High profit items more than likely. America pays good money. They will sell the same thing for less if it is a poor country and still break even or still have a good profiit.

    It is the way they guarantee the relationship. Are you saying we must do everything they say because they hold a lot of trills? It used to be other countries in the past and did they have power over us that we are forced to use them for trade? How about if they then quadruple their price?

    That relationship benefits them otherwise they are dumb to do it. Sure it is beneficial to us yet it has brought China out of poverty and now they trade a lot with the world. America led the way in opening up China through massive investments and profits flow from those relationships through corporations.

    Sometimes you seem quite a apologist for them. Do you really believe we can not trade somewhere else if the trade cost us too much? I don’t see that yet maybe I will understand one day.

    These numbers seem different.

    China’s Top 10 Exports

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trueturning View Post
    7 Billion plus in 2017 . High profit items more than likely. America pays good money. They will sell the same thing for less if it is a poor country and still break even or still have a good profiit.

    It is the way they guarantee the relationship. Are you saying we must do everything they say because they hold a lot of trills? It used to be other countries in the past and did they have power over us that we are forced to use them for trade? How about if they then quadruple their price?

    That relationship benefits them otherwise they are dumb to do it. Sure it is beneficial to us yet it has brought China out of poverty and now they trade a lot with the world. America led the way in opening up China through massive investments and profits flow from those relationships through corporations.

    Sometimes you seem quite a apologist for them. Do you really believe we can not trade somewhere else if the trade cost us too much? I don’t see that yet maybe I will understand one day.

    These numbers seem different.

    China’s Top 10 Exports

    I am not a china apologist.
    I actively try not to buy chinese made, when I can.

    I am a realist.

    The chinese are not "quadrupling the price"
    Trump is taxing our chinese purchases.
    That money is going to the US government, from the tariffs, not to the Chinese.

    The relationship benefits everybody.

    Again- lets look at GM.

    GM makes more money in China than in the US, makes more cars there, and is starting to export cars from China to the USA.
    That is not us doing "what they say".
    That is not us making a massive investment in them- thats the chinese buying so many GM cars that its starting to float the US operations.

    GM is not leaving China. Its way too profitable, and the market is growing.
    The tariffs make Cadillacs and Buicks more expensive here- because they are made in China and shipped over.
    But we dont buy enough Caddies to make it reasonable to shift production back.

    Apple is not leaving China.
    And they seem to have no problem raising the prices on Apple stuff- the new big iphones are over $1000.
    How, exactly, do we "trade elsewhere", if all the iphones come from China.
    Instead, if we want one, we just pay the price, plus the tariff.
    Thats not China doing anything to us- thats Trump making our phones more expensive.

    And, I know, a lot of guys here dont like Apple- but they are still enormously profitable, and are not going broke due to tariffs.

    Caterpillar is not leaving China- every Cat sold has some chinese parts in em, and they are from CAT owned factories. This, again, has nothing to do with the chinese government- its a decision CAT made, and it helps CATs bottom line, both here and abroad.

    I am not saying we have to do ANYTHING they say- I am saying business will do what is profitable, and regardless of the current tariffs, its still way more profitable to make things in China than here. The market there keeps on growing.

    And for most of those things, they dont sell "the same thing for less"- and Iphone is the same basic price everywhere. A CAT excavator is the same, whether you buy it in China, the USA, or Chile. A Lincoln welder made in China is not cheaper if you buy it outside of the USA. A Cadillac CT6, made in china, is sixty grand in the USA, but its not somehow cheaper elsewhere.


    I think what we will see is more and more international companies shifting more and more to China, from the USA.
    Meanwhile, we see a lot of Chinese companies investing here-
    The chinese own steel mills, major auto parts manufacturers, appliance factories, real estate, and lots more in the USA- they take their profits and some of them are being invested here. Again, has nothing to do with them telling us what to do, or the tariffs. Its simple capitalism.

    Your numbers are similar to mine- your link says a bit over $2.5 Trillion in exports from china globally, and then it breaks down the US portion of that- but its still only 10% of their GDP in total global exports, and maybe 20% of that, max, to the USA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinjax View Post
    There is no intention of making a deal in the Trump administration. The intent is to drive the US supply chain out of China and disengage the US and Chinese economies.
    If this is true (not saying it isn't, but ...) it's not possible. US corporations are far too happy with the way things are to willingly go back to the past setup. Start messing with that and you're messing with real money. If this is where it ends up, Trump is a goner.

    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Games and positioning for power or wealth..... Is this all we have?
    Yes.

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    GM is interesting.
    A very long time back GM sent out the memo that as a supplier you needed to have a presence and partnership in China in order to be considered for new bids.
    Then a while back (way before Trump came along) they started to see things change in China.
    At which point the memo came out asking vendors to put facilities into other countries and discouraged any investment or new production in China but pointed to lower cost places where you could go.
    These guys and gals are no longer king of the hill but maybe ahead of the curve.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    GM is interesting.
    A very long time back GM sent out the memo that as a supplier you needed to have a presence and partnership in China in order to be considered for new bids.
    Then a while back (way before Trump came along) they started to see things change in China.
    At which point the memo came out asking vendors to put facilities into other countries and discouraged any investment or new production in China but pointed to lower cost places where you could go.
    These guys and gals are no longer king of the hill but maybe ahead of the curve.
    Bob
    I wonder- do you know how much US sourced auto parts are now coming from Chinese owned US plants? Seems like particularly in driveline parts, the Chinese have been buying a lot of US based plants, keeping the old names, but still supplying Ford and GM with parts. I just wonder if there really is a difference anymore between "chinese" and "american", or if the ownership lines are so blurred that its all one big mush.



    Fer instance- are these guys "chinese"? American Made OEM & ARG Auto Glass | Fuyao Glass America
    I mean, obviously, its a chinese company, who claim to have the largest auto glass factory in the world, in Dayton Ohio, and are OEM suppliers to GM and Chrysler.
    So does this represent GM being ahead of the curve, in terms of buying their chinese parts from Dayton?
    I gotta admit, I dont find much of this black and white anymore.

    Maybe they sent the same memo to their chinese suppliers, saying you have to have a partnership in Ohio.
    Its probably a lower cost place than Bejing is, these days.

    PS- this way predates the current tariffs- this chinese company built the factory in the USA because it saves on shipping, and wages are stagnant, whereas, in China, they have been going up 10% to 15% a year in lots of places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    I wonder- do you know how much US sourced auto parts are now coming from Chinese owned US plants? Seems like particularly in driveline parts, the Chinese have been buying a lot of US based plants, keeping the old names, but still supplying Ford and GM with parts. I just wonder if there really is a difference anymore between "chinese" and "american", or if the ownership lines are so blurred that its all one big mush.



    Fer instance- are these guys "chinese"? American Made OEM & ARG Auto Glass | Fuyao Glass America
    I mean, obviously, its a chinese company, who claim to have the largest auto glass factory in the world, in Dayton Ohio, and are OEM suppliers to GM and Chrysler.
    So does this represent GM being ahead of the curve, in terms of buying their chinese parts from Dayton?
    I gotta admit, I dont find much of this black and white anymore.

    Maybe they sent the same memo to their chinese suppliers, saying you have to have a partnership in Ohio.
    Its probably a lower cost place than Bejing is, these days.

    PS- this way predates the current tariffs- this chinese company built the factory in the USA because it saves on shipping, and wages are stagnant, whereas, in China, they have been going up 10% to 15% a year in lots of places.
    This Fuyao Glass is the company featured in the new documentary "American Factory" produced by the Obamas. You can find the trailer on YouTube. And it isn't only because they save on shipping that they decided to set up shop in Ohio, nor stagnant wages, but a combination of energy prices, taxes, and other costs. The owner of the company talks about it here:
    YouTube

    As I'm sure you know, there's the whole "reshoring" movement. There's an ex manufacturing guy that even has a whole NGO dedicated to it called "The Reshoring Initiative" that collects a lot of data and puts out a lot of information on this. Basically, many companies find their true costs in the US are now better, because of things like better control over quality issues and advances in industrial engineering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    How, exactly, do we "trade elsewhere", if all the iphones come from China.
    There is the argument that they could actually make the iPhone, or at lot more of it, in the US, despite whatever Apple says or some pundits say. Here's a group that looks at their production process in detail and what making it in the US might look like. This was done years ago before Trump ever came around:

    http://www.strategosinc.com/download...oxconn-dl1.pdf

    I think we could better address this by having a proper national industrial policy. One smart way of doing this while not having to explicitly greatly readjust the tariff schedules at the WTO or trade agreements is to greatly heighten environmental/SPS controls. The EU has arguably been doing this for a while, and many think it is really a double usage of not just ensuring quality but also protecting and promoting domestic industry. What we could do is have it whereby if you want to sell into the US market, you must have met US EPA/OSHA and other standards. Ironically, I believe Elizabeth Warren has made some mention of something like this, and it's not surprising since she's been on the trade policy tirade for a long time. Some stuff isn't made in the US because the production process in China is cheaper and can't be implemented because of our EPA regulations, so it's not just labor or supply chain. I spoke to one woman at a glass beads company after I crunched trade data and found that our trade balance in glass beads is 99% imports, and she explained to me how not being able to use arsenic in the production process and mandating lead content of extremely low amounts by law made it where producing in China was far easier and cheaper since those laws don't exist there. Instead, Chinese manufacturers make them in conditions we don't accept and then export them to the US.

    Another way we could help is by targeting subsidies to industry - something China has been doing forever and excels at, as well as other countries. There's a whole book that promotes the idea of subsidies and how they're used abroad called "Why Manufacturing Still Matters" that I read a while back. And yet another is to do some readjustment to our tariff schedules - yes that means doing some of what Donnie is doing, but I don't believe Japan or Korea or China would have industrialized without protecting their own markets with various tariff and non-tariff barriers. Even the WTO knows this with their whole carve-out called "Special and Differential Treatment".

    I don't buy we can't make things here. It'll take time, but I truly believe that if companies are not given much choice, they will suddenly start training and better dealing with the "shortages" they and everyone else claims to have, as well as employ more advanced manufacturing methods to cut down on labor, etc. If it were up to me, I wish the Commerce Department would commission a huge study to find what things we could more closely compete with other countries on and which areas would have the most employment impact.

    I grew up in a small town that's largely agrarian. Industrialization built the town in the 20th century well beyond its beginnings in the 19th, but it's now mainly retail, and I'd rather have a job learning skills at a manufacturer than selling phones at the local verizon store. I don't live there nor have to, but I feel for all the people in that situation. It's not just the story of that town, but of broader America. I think manufacturing would have a large impact if it were truly taken seriously. What Trump is doing is not that; it's just a blind, almost senseless way of going about it. However, I think it's better than nothing. It is at least a topic now. I don't remember hearing anything about this years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nyc123 View Post
    As I'm sure you know, there's the whole "reshoring" movement. There's an ex manufacturing guy that even has a whole NGO dedicated to it called "The Reshoring Initiative" that collects a lot of data and puts out a lot of information on this. Basically, many companies find their true costs in the US are now better, because of things like better control over quality issues and advances in industrial engineering.
    Meaningless and won't happen to any large extent because of one thing - CEO's hate labor. They would rather go out of business than pay decent wages. Look at US history.

    With 800 million potential workers and good support for average people, China will never need to pay as much in wages as the US does. "High costs" in China can't begin to compare with costs in the US where, for example, motion guru has to pay a $600,000 bribe before turning over the first shovel of dirt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nyc123 View Post
    ....

    As I'm sure you know, there's the whole "reshoring" movement. There's an ex manufacturing guy that even has a whole NGO dedicated to it called "The Reshoring Initiative" that collects a lot of data and puts out a lot of information on this. Basically, many companies find their true costs in the US are now better, because of things like better control over quality issues and advances in industrial engineering.
    .
    I'm not seeing this "reshoring" movement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    I'm not seeing this "reshoring" movement.
    It's in the press, so it's gotta be true

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    It's in the press, so it's gotta be true
    It is real. This is not a debatable thing. What is debatable is whether it is happening on a net basis, and I think it's clear that it isn't. If we're going to distrust anything in the press, then you better start believing China has a lot of problems that are going to blow up, because the China cheerleaders outweigh the China bears. You should drop the "every single thing in the press is untrue" line - it makes you seem not credible. Everyone knows they all get it wrong and are worth checking, but saying 100% of everything out there is untrue is nonsense.

    It's also not "the press". It's no more "press" than if you built a website. It's a guy who is an ex-manufacturing exec that collects data on this and whatnot. Checkout the website and the case studies. There are a lot of companies that do reshore for different issues.

    The top reasons that companies reshore include:

    Lead time
    Higher product quality and consistency
    Rising offshore wages
    Skilled workforce
    Local tax incentives
    Image of being Made in USA
    Lower inventory levels, better turns
    Better responsiveness to changing customer demands
    Minimal intellectual property and regulatory compliance risks
    Improved innovation and product differentiation


    There's a bunch of examples and reasons given as to specifically why for each case here. Over 400 of them in this one file here, and there are hundreds and thousands more.

    http://www.reshorenow.org/content/co...ses9_26_16.pdf

    All in all, nobody here has said this is happening on a net basis, but it is happening more. There's quite a few people that think things will become more localized rather than globalized. The basic premise is that many companies rushed offshore in recent decades and now because of various reasons, many are finding it better to simply produce, or have more supply chain, in the US. Really not an extreme idea...

    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Meaningless and won't happen to any large extent because of one thing - CEO's hate labor. They would rather go out of business than pay decent wages.
    That would be true if labor were the only factor. But it isn't. Labor many times isn't even the largest cost. Afterall, by that logic, nothing should be made in the US since wages abroad are lower. The reality is that there are far more costs involved such as energy costs, taxes, regulatory costs, materials, issues with quality, lead time, and inventory, etc. Cutting here and there can eliminate gaps in labor, especially in products where there isn't a lot of labor there to begin with. Turn over a shampoo bottle bought in the US. There's a good chance it's manufactured right in the US. That's a commodity-type, cheap consumer good. Yet it's being manufactured in the US, not in China or another low-wage location. It's a lot more complicated than that.
    Last edited by nyc123; 10-22-2019 at 05:39 PM.

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    Becoming more localized might be as sensible strategy if one's sales were localised. They aren't, so it isn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rand View Post
    Becoming more localized might be as sensible strategy if one's sales were localised. They aren't, so it isn't.
    In the case of China exporting to another country product it is not made local yet is sold for use there. So to restore it would have one benefit of being local to the market.

    I think the obvious point nyc makes is that labor is not the prime factor or else everything likely following much lower costs means it is made in another country.

    Labor has always been underpaid. Things are still made in countries where labor and taxes are high very high in fact if you consider California. There boils down to whether someone wishes in a big way to protect themselves from competition while in fact at the same time giving up a acceptable loss of autonomy and civic duties or the principles of that. It does not work well when a product is made overseas and Ip is taken or forced tech transfer occurs. That causes trade disputes and high losses in profits long term. Too the quantum leaps made by the country which does this is great propelling them to superpower status such as with China.

    Is this really smart? I do not think it is I believe it is very dangerous given the fact they have not become more democratic or free. If one does not mind the cost of the loss of human life over the last 75 years and what is happening now then continue to support the advance of that type of government.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rand View Post
    Becoming more localized might be as sensible strategy if one's sales were localised. They aren't, so it isn't.
    Not sure what you meant here. They are localized. Companies sell across many markets. They have production facilities in many different places. Levi's jeans, for example, sells in tons of different countries and sources from tons of different countries. Around 30-40 countries they have factories in. Uniqlo has 242 workshops in 11 countries. Every product is different. Textiles tends to be both very labor intensive and more protected by tariffs/quotas.

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    So why do you think that any of these companies with global markets should return their manufacturing to the USA, which is a high cost country compared with China?

    Levi Strauss's list of factories in March 2019. The vast majority in China, with India, Vietnam etc. tailing. Very few in the USA or Europe...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rand View Post
    So why do you think that any of these companies with global markets should return their manufacturing to the USA, which is a high cost country compared with China?
    Because it's still the largest consumer market in the world. The idea of going from global to local is not to make 100% of it domestically, but to have more content made domestically. Japanese manufacturers of cars have assembly plants in the US, and probably some parts suppliers. But they also ship over cars on ro-ro's, which are rollon/rolloff ships. Basically, the idea would be to have more, not all. Besides, trade agreements already try to do this.....there is no free trade world. There's a reason why RVC requirements are a thing. NAFTA's regional content req for duty-free for auto is 62.5%. We also have things like yarn-forward rules. But you will never see any of that get mentioned in mainstream coverage. Makes for way better selling headlines and articles to just make the issue black and white and leave out crucial details.

    Or did you mean what do I think the benefits would be? I think it would create economic benefits for middle America. There's an ever-growing gap between rural and urban. I look at people in my hometown and the employment options are really not that great. That was what I was saying in an earlier comment. But there are factories here and there where the pay is higher, and you can actually get skills. There's a lot of data to support the idea that manufacturing has outsized effects on economies. Hell, if you look at Charlotte as one example, it now boasts a huge amount of services, specifically banking. But the banking industry was built on textiles. My hometown was built on timber at first in the late 19th century and now is known mostly for agricultural processing plants. China grew off export-led growth from manufacturing. Japan did it. Korea did it. I'm not saying we should all go back to working in a factory, just that I believe manufacturing is a solid backbone of economies like ours and all the policymakers know this, or else there would be no need to negotiate anything in trade negotiations, nor would there be any subsidies given to manufacturers, etc., blah blah. Basically, my opinion is that the pendulum may have swung a bit too far and needs to be brought back some.

    I'm also not saying we shouldn't incentivize exports from abroad, as that allows many foreign economies to grow and climb up the income/living standard ladder by giving them much needed employment and money into their economies. What I am saying is that just letting down tariffs unilaterally en masse, allowing many of theirs to be higher, and probably even worse just allowing discrimination of foreign companies, huge growth in non-tariff barriers, and other measures, is probably not a good idea and hasn't worked out so well for us over the past few decades. So instead, the government would have to more actively manage our trade balance, which is really what they already do abroad in so many countries....so we would have to have a national industrial policy.

    Now if you don't believe that manufacturing is something important anymore, or at least not beyond what is already here or whatever the market as structured currently dictates, then of course none of that makes sense. My opinion is that it is important and has been neglected. I think it's just as important as any other number of issues such as healthcare or ensuring employer-employee fairness, or wealth inequality or whatever, by looking at things like raising the min wage or restricting immigration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rand View Post
    So why do you think that any of these companies with global markets should return their manufacturing to the USA, which is a high cost country compared with China?

    Levi Strauss's list of factories in March 2019. The vast majority in China, with India, Vietnam etc. tailing. Very few in the USA or Europe...
    A good question is why has there been so much restoring back to the US when everything is less to make in China? Take USA and switch that with any country in Europe and it is a good question for Europe also.


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