Berlin According to the Institute for the World Economy (IfW), US President Donald Trump failed with his goal of strengthening domestic industry. “Trump was unable to boost production or employment in industry or in the sectors he sponsored,” said IfW economic researcher Klaus-Jürgen Gern on the analysis published on Tuesday.
“Positive trends have already been initiated by the Obama administration or are due to economic catch-up processes. In the automotive industry, upswing tendencies have even weakened under Trump’s America First policy. “
According to this, US industrial production increased by a total of 7.2 percent from 2017 to 2019, more strongly than in most of the other large industrialized countries (G7). However, the high growth rates are largely due to catching-up processes after the American industrial recession in 2015 and 2016. Their trigger was the crash in oil prices, which had put the fracking industry in the USA under pressure in particular.
Trump has sponsored the steel and aluminum industries, for which he imposed protective tariffs in 2017. The Republican has also taken on the auto industry, for which a higher proportion of domestic production was stipulated in the newly negotiated North American free trade agreement.
“In none of the industries can a remarkable increase in production be determined for the Trump years,” said the IfW. In the steel industry, only the economic dip in 2015/16 was overcome and the level of the years 2010 to 2014 was reached again. The production level of the aluminum and auto industries did not increase in the Trump years.
The positive employment trend tended to slow down under Trump
The announced employment boom did not occur in any of these three sectors. In the aluminum industry, the number of employees stagnated, while in the steel industry it increased only slightly in line with the overall economy.
The positive employment trend in the auto industry began in 2010 and has tended to slow down under Trump. The share of the three industries in total employment in the USA did not change and remained extremely low at 0.3 percent.
“Trump has not given US industry any positive impetus. Supposedly good numbers are due to impulses before his term in office and a good overall economy, ”summarized the researchers. “Protectionist strategies are not suitable for providing sustainable growth impulses.”
It is more promising to rely on the strengths of the US economy in international competition. The coming President of the USA must better cushion the associated structural change – for example through targeted investments in infrastructure and education in the regions particularly affected.
More: These industries would benefit from a US President Joe Biden – also in Europe.