China Trade Policy - Where Do We Go From Here?

Any type of modern manufacturing requires some pretty decent computer skills. From the design side, you have to be skilled in CAD, and you can’t just take that solid model and load it up, it has to be programmed into CAM software before a CNC knows what to do with it. I’m a certified SolidWorks CAD user but I would be totally lost in CAM.

3D printing is a little easier but you still have to load it up and program it in a ‘slicer’. Injection molding typically takes some pretty serious knowledge of CAD and flow analysis. I don’t think people fully appreciate the skills needed in a modern manufacturing environment.

As far as “how do you compete”, you’re just not on a head to head to head basis.

Instead of racing to the bottom or doing something like tariffs which US consumers pay or blocking trade, look to Germany for an idea of how to compete. High quality, low cost to free education systems, strong unions, high reguation. That’s a country the size of Wisconsin that has 4 of the worlds top car manufacturers, leads in all forms of manufacturing technology, and exports almost the exact same amount as the US.

You’re obviously not happy with the thought of even a $15 minimum wage, are ideologically opposed to unions or publicly financed education, unions, and regulations. What would you do?


So much to unpack.

On the cheap labor. We need aggressive trade deals with competing labor blocks. Not a panacea but having some multi-lateral strings to pull or alternative labor markets to tap gives us leverage.

Pacific Rim, Africa.

The more these agreements are tied in with shared vision of security and democracy the better for utilizing them to offset China. Some will call this Globalism, but the reality is that societies are becoming more interconnected on the planet and we should build a strategy to be a strong player.

We can’t let the capitalist interests define these deals as we have in the past. We will need rules that do more than just open up foreign labor and resources. They need to account for these emerging goals of worker protections and resource security.

China has been doing this in spades by building up infrastructure in developing nations. But I think they are looking to exploit. We could do similar projects but offer a better deal… and self determination to the recipients.

We should not withdraw from the world stage.

Preferably sooner than later

Your idea is to race to the bottom?

Peter said it…we do the things here they can’t do.

A US company needs a CNC part and me taking a skinnier margin than I would like is $2600. I can get it made in China with roughly the same delivery date and a 50% margin for for $800.

Which one do you think my customer is picking up?

Where I have the edge is on 5 axis work, complicated geometry with tight tolerances below 0.001” and maybe a hard to handle material like titanium or Inconel. Not going to quote that in China because (my supply chain at least) can’t do it.

Or ITAR restricted work, there’s a regulation that keeps manufacturing in the US. Hell the people making it have to be American citizens along with a lot of other restrictions.

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Whatever happened to the Democrats protecting the unions we always knew there was cheaper labor out there. I mean technically china has 1.1 million minorities locked up in concentration camps they could have them work for a penny on the hour should some company jump on that?

I used to be a big free trader until I learned that free trade pitted against slave trade doesn’t work for most of the population. It’s great for the company as well as the shareholders but all around you will be surrounded by poor people eventually.

Democrats are still very pro union. I don’t know if you’ve noticed which party, encouraged by US business, has had its foot on the throats of unions for the last 40+ years. Wasn’t Democrats fighting to pass “right to work” legislation and all the other union busting legislation.


Unions needed to move from protecting benefits to protecting industries and they missed the mark. They were demonized and dismantled.
Perhaps they can rebuild with broader goals.

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Like what?

IMO the whole world should unite and investigate the origin of this China virus and unitedly punish any wrong doing.

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…and yet some still believe, when there’s 47 years of historical evidence to prove Joe does nothing to help the country.

I agree to a degree, but China is a sovereign nation and there is no world authority outside of force and war for adjudication. It’s not like the world has subpeona powers.

So if this was intentional, we should counter strike.

If this was low grade negligence, cover up, criticism of exactly how they tried to contain things, etc… without a convincing smoking gun we will be left with escalating the general pressure on China as our only recourse. And they will counter.

What is the tactic we should be using to apply this pressure effectively?

Who each nation chooses to “trade” with.

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While that is somewhat true, Unions exist to protect labor and labor’s interest. Unions didn’t design crappy cars, they didn’t globalize trade, they didn’t stop buying coal.

I agree that Unions do need to adapt faster to changing world, but the relationship between labor and capital is a two way street.

The world is rigged to reward capital at labor’s expense almost 100% of the time.

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I agree and I was not fully in the working world at peak union. My 3rd hand impression is that some of the bigger unions (auto industry) became tainted by corruption and anti-innovative worker status protections.

I’m sure this impression was goosed by politics and media and that the companies were playing equally bad in many of these negotiations.

The end result was a decline of union support.

If they come back in strength I hope we can figure out a better result.

My experience with being in a Union is probably unique to the industry that I work in… Film and TV production.

We are all at the end of the day freelancers who only live off of our own good names. This is a change that has happened in the Union over the past 20 years though. Gone are the days of having a bunch of Irish and Italian dudes cranked out of their mind on coke pushing lights and cameras around. As my industry has become more diverse it has become a lot better. The union has been proactive with having women’s committees and young worker’s committees.

The crazy thing is that a lot of this diversity was forced on the Local by the Dept of Labor because the Union was being protectionist of the people who were already members instead of actually working to expand.

It has made the labor pool a lot better even though the path to being a full member is opaque and in my opinion still dubious in the legal sense.

A Union is only as good as it’s engaged membership.

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The Chinese Communist Party has a 100 year plan. Most of America has a 6 month plan. China has an education system and America has a failed online education system. Be the Sheeple and follow the bouncing ball.

China will be the world power and America will be the fall if the Roman Empire remix.

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Tell that to the victims of abuse. Harvey is one of the more recent looywood ■■■■ birds.

The industry is filled with people who spend their whole career pretending to be someones they are not. Living in fantasy land takes its toll.