Robert Samuelson is Upset that Manufacturing Jobs Seem to be Returning to the United States

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Monday, 31 December 2012 05:58

That is the gist of his column today. He presents some evidence that the gap in costs between the United States and the developing world, most importantly China, has been reduced and therefore jobs are coming back to the United States. It's very hard to understand the negative in this story. It could mean that a trade deficit that was leading to ever more foreign indebtedness is beginning to moderate. It's not clear why this would be bad.

The complaint is especially ironic coming from Samuelson, who has long been very upset about government budget defiits in the United States.It is difficult to imagine a scenario where the budget deficit moves closer to balance that does not also involve the trade deficit moving closer to balance. The only alternative way to make up for the demand lost to the trade deficit would be with negative private sector savings.