Donald Trump can’t bring jobs back. The U.S. can’t compete with low-wage countries for low-skilled manufacturing jobs. Americans won’t, and can’t, work for 50 cents an hour. At $7.50, most workers need government assistance just to survive.

 First: Companies produce products to make a profit. It’s called “capitalism.” Manufacturing jobs moved out of the U.S. to low-wage countries because they could tap into cheap labor, lax environmental laws and few workplace safety laws. Unless U.S. workers want to work for what the Chinese make, those jobs are not coming back. Just look at the Trump line of products. All manufactured abroad, even the Trump “Make America Great Again” hats.

 Second: Big corporations, like Wal-Mart, have a financial interest in cheaply made goods. They are why the goods are made in China. Congress will never pass laws that will override our existing trade agreements.

There will be no legislation to overturn our trade agreements, and Trump can’t do it without Congress.

Since profit is the ultimate goal, the only way to bring those jobs back, would be to make imported goods comparatively more expensive than U.S. made goods.

High import tariffs, or taxes, would be required to give the U.S. manufacturers a comparative advantage. It’s called “protectionism.” And the tariffs would have to stay on forever because low-wage countries will stay low wage for a very long time.

High tariffs might not result in more U.S. jobs but they would result in higher consumer prices. Would U.S. consumers still buy those now-more-expensive goods? If consumers wouldn’t or couldn’t buy the more expensive goods, no new jobs would be created.

It’s all more complex than the bumper stickers. Believe me.

Maureen Turgeon

Orr’s Island