An article published in China’s Global Times contends that President-elect Trump’s promise to return manufacturing jobs to places like Ohio and Michigan is a fool’s errand. But if Trump is somehow successful in moving major manufacturing from Asia to North America, that’s good for China too, asserts Chinese reporter Hu Weijia. (The Global Times is controlled by the Communist Party and can be counted on to voice government approved messages.)
No matter how incentivized by U.S. government tax breaks, American technology companies like Apple still wouldn’t have Asia’s “production system” the article asserts. And building its American equivalent would be difficult and “drive up manufacturing costs.” That, of course, will be passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices, opening the door for Asian companies to undercut U.S. makers and capture more of the global technology market, including the U.S. market. The Chinese calculus is that it’s a win-win for China: if Trump can’t move the jobs, they stay in Asia. If he can move them, he puts a huge burden on American companies that China and other Asian companies can take advantage of with their own brands like Huawei and Xiaomi.