Mexico as U.S. Manufacturing Scapegoat Masks China Effect: Chart

As Donald Trump focused his Twitter ire on Mexican imports in recent weeks -- sending the peso plunging to record lows -- it’s worth remembering that advances in automation and China’s rise have been the far bigger culprit for the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs. Factory work in the U.S. increased in the years after the North American Free Trade Agreement, before starting a sharp dropoff when China entered the World Trade Organization. Despite the rhetoric, one can’t attribute trade with Mexico to a sizable loss in U.S. manufacturing jobs, said Mireya Solis, a foreign policy fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

— With assistance by Lorenzo Nalin, and David Montalvan

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