Why do we lose industrial jobs in the US?
A. Some folks say it's because foreign competitors compete unfairly through dumping or through keeping their currencies artificially low.
B. Other folks say that it is because automation and the use of robots is making jobs redundant.
Neither of the above is the correct answer.
"A" is partly true, but it is not the best answer.
"B" is definitely wrong. Automation increased exponentially from 1900-1950 and employment never suffered.
Automation used to be the West's technical advantage. Robotics allowed western countries to make more product with less workers. But the Technological Advantage has disappeared, as robotics and automation are available to all nations and thus are not a competitive advantage.
The real answer is: "The Law of Comparative Advantage." This law states that the country with the cheapest / most efficient cost of production will win all the business. We lost industrial jobs to third world countries PRIMARILY because the third world countries have: a) Lower cost of labor and
b.) Very little environmental regulations.
While some countries decide to subsidize the cost of production thru mercantilism, they are usually low cost producers to begin with. When they subidize production, or cheapen their currency, their products go from "cheap" to "super cheap".