The fact is that our trade and economic policies — or lack thereof — are the primary cause of stagnant manufacturing growth in this country. We in and of manufacturing find ourselves in an environment of two camps, vying on many fronts for supremacy & influence.
And, these days, it sure seems like the inmates are running the asylum.
On the one side, there are the consumer economy & free market economists — who believe a services-based US economic utopia is not only sustainable but is a also a wealth generator. Let’s call them Pure Economists (PEs). They see the loss of manufacturing the same as our shift from an agrarian society, inevitable and preferred (although the US is still the world’s top exporter in this regard). To them, the global distribution of industrial capacity will create new markets, lower costs, and create a universal tranquility — countries will play specific roles and will feed global supply and demand chains as one, organic unit. (PEs also include many government entities that respond to this influence and support these initiatives.)