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Trade, Automation, Cheap Wages Abroad Conspire to Alter U.S. Economic Landscape


(Ryan Migeed & Anna Gawel – The Washington Diplomat)

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump struck a protectionist, populist tone that appealed to Rust Belt blue-collar workers but instilled fear among multinational companies, foreign governments and free trade advocates. Those fears were apparently well founded.

Since assuming office, Trump has wasted no time railing against the perils of globalization. He’s threatened to slap punitive tariffs on key economic partners such as Mexico and China, named and shamed companies that outsource their operations to foreign countries and blasted multi-national trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); the latter he formally withdrew from and the former he’s vowed to renegotiate. Trump blames these trade deals — and the global competition they fostered — for widespread manufacturing job losses in the United States.

But the question of why manufacturing jobs have shifted is as murky as global trade itself, which, in an interconnected 21st-century world, is not a zero-sum game that neatly conforms to blustery political rhetoric. Click here to read more.