The U.S. strategy for competing with China, the reclaiming of manufacturing jobs, is written to appeal to middle- and working-class Americans. Hannah Gurman argues that this link is tenuous at best, helping already-profiting corporations without seeing the benefits trickle down to the voting bloc.
As anxiety about the end of United States hegemony abounds and the US unemployment rate remains high, talk about the necessity of out-competing China is on the rise.
The leading presidential candidates have zeroed in on China as a major threat to US economic security and have vowed to ensure that the United States remains on top of the global economic ladder.
In campaign speeches, Republicans and Democrats alike are using economic nationalism to appeal to American workers. Across the political spectrum, recent campaign statements on China toggle between two related positions. One calls for cracking down on unfair trade practices. The other looks forward to the return of manufacturing jobs for American workers.
Although this campaign rhetoric is geared toward middle-class and blue-collar voters, it implies that an increase in corporate earnings will benefit American workers - once again peddling the flawed notion that what's good for American CEOs is good for America.