Over the last week and presumably in anticipation of next Tuesday’s presidential election, several news outlets decided to check in on whether three‐plus years of President Trump’s nationalist, “America First” trade and economic policies boosted U.S. manufacturing, particularly in the industrial Midwest (“Rust Belt”), as promised. As the titles alone make clear, the consensus conclusion is that the president’s use of tariffs, subsidies and economic threats not only failed to reverse the seismic forces that for decades have affected corporate and consumer decision‐making, and thus certain U.S. manufacturing companies and jobs, but may have actually made things worse:
“Trump’s Manufacturing Promises Disappoint as Economy Sours: Foxconn’s failure to deliver on a Wisconsin project underscores the limits of the President’s power to make companies bend to his will” (New York Times)
“Kodak Loan Debacle Puts a New Agency in the Hot Seat: A stumbling effort to prop up the domestic generic drugs sector underscores the challenges of a Trump administration industrial policy” (New York Times)
And that’s just in the last week. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. Question is: does the Trump administration?