Furthermore, this already benign assessment assumes that Chinese import competition potentially hurts all U.S. manufacturing jobs. That assumption is proven incorrect by the San Francisco Fed study, which found that one‐third of all Chinese imports were intermediate goods that American companies used to produce globally competitive products. (Hundreds of manufacturing jobs at a Missouri custom hat company, for example, are threatened by President Trump’s tariffs on imported Chinese baseball caps.) These imports have helped, not hurt, U.S. manufacturing workers. In fact, Pol Antràs, Teresa C. Fort, and Felix Tintelnot found that U.S. manufacturing firms that increased direct imports from China between 1997 and 2007 experienced growing or steady employment, likely because of the importers’ ability to lower prices and raise output (even as nonimporting competitors suffered). With respect to these types of complex value chains, the WTO estimates that China in 2015 was the third‐largest user—behind only Mexico and Canada—of “Made In America” manufacturing inputs and the largest source of inputs for American manufacturers.
It is maddening. With big spenders like the Republicans, you really do not need the Democrats. In fact, after the last four months, I am left wondering if we would have been better off, spending wise, if positions had been reversed and Democrats were in charge of the Senate and the White House. In that case, the Republicans would have had something that more closely resembled a backbone – something that would have prompted in them greater resistance to much of this spending.