By Whitt Flora, Tribune News Service
to — boosting the number of U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Sectors that have benefitted from Trump’s protectionist policies include solar panels, washing machines, flat screen television, steel and aluminum manufacturing.
So far, manufacturing jobs are increasing across the nation, especially in distressed cities like Buffalo, N. Y.; Louisville, Ky.; and Huntsville, Ala., where U. S. firms abandoned their plants for the allure of cheap overseas labor but now are “reshoring” jobs lost to foreign outsourcing.
Obviously there remains much more for Trump to do to reverse the labor drain from America that claimed 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000.
Ratings agencies, like Moody’s, have responded to Trump’s 25 percent tariff on imported steel by improving the investment picture for the U. S. steel industry.
Similarly, the American aluminum industry is seeing increases in stock valuation because of Trump’s 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.
Tariff protections for U. S. steel and aluminum have not only resulted in an improved outlook for investors in both industries but have translated into more jobs and greater manufacturing capacity in the United States.
Trump, like unsuccessful 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, promised to act against countries like China, which had enjoyed an unbalanced trade relationship with the United States that emaciated America’s bluecollar labor force and the local economies that were left shattered by job loss.
Since Trump retaliated against America’s manufacturing competitors in Asia and Latin America, U. S. companies are thinking twice about off- shoring manufacturing.
Some are opting to assemble products at U. S. factories, using a combination of domesticallymade components and those manufactured abroad.
For this “one foot in America, one foot abroad” policy, companies are seeking tariff relief for components that require cost- prohibitive assembly line installation.
These partial U. S. manufacturing firms, while not perfect, are a step in the right direction and help take the sting out of unintended