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Politicians love to talk about “bringing back” U.S. manufacturing jobs, but federal policies are actively destroying the ones that are already here.
The U.S. manufacturing sector is largely moving on from “old tech” industries like textiles and steel to high-tech fields like advanced optics, custom semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, aerospace products and precision electronics. Under free trade with the rest of the world, these industries would grow even more because they take advantage of our abundant skilled labor and scientific research capabilities.
But the U.S. government can’t stop hobbling our natural comparative advantage in advanced manufacturing.
The biggest issue right now is the real exchange rate. Adjusted for inflation, the dollar is now roughly the strongest it has been in the last two decades,