I agree that each nation should ideally be production self-sufficient in basic commodities to extent possible … like oil and gas. The intractable political reality problem undermining such sensible strategic aims is that the governing elites of both parties are hopelessly mired, divided, and corrupted by parochial special interests to the extreme. We can’t come together on anything.
It’s high time the U.S. did – what Germany and Japan historically have been cleverly doing with superb technical training and education programs – namely, adopt an aggressive policy of retaining and expanding “home production” of key component parts of intensive-knowhow-industrial products … as opposed to current practice of U.S. corporations’ outsourcing production of products or components for knowhow fees, maximum global profits and then reimporting same products, skyrocketing U.S. trade deficits. The revenue inflows from this trade practice benefit but a SMALL number of middle-class workers. The job growth dynamics are peanuts compared to a national strategy of having product development, design and at least component manufacturing in America for American needs. Spirits will be energized as a more equitable, inclusive, confident sharing in our nation’s social-economic progress returns.
We should also formulate a policy – under easy-to-measure guidelines and criteria – that requires foreign firm importers of industrial, high knowhow products to establish manufacturing facilities in the U.S. After all, this has been rather successfully done with Japanese cars. Control and oversight could be in the hands of a respected team of independent experts from the business, R&D, education, worker training and development fields.
Lastly, as you have noted John in a prior writing, American products coming into the EU, e.g., to Germany or The Netherlands, are hit with a VAT of +- 19% plus an import duty. In sharp contrast, EU products entering the U.S. incur only an import duty plus a much lower state sales tax at point of final sale. Thus, the EU vs. U.S. total tax-import duty system, when combined with low-cost foreign labor, grossly unfairly favors imports from the EU (and Asia). This tax-duty disparity also generates more EU tax revenues, greatly tempers excessive EU imports while helping exports, leading to relatively modest EU trade deficits (even annual trade surpluses for Germany and The Netherlands). It further intensifies the will of U.S. corporations to outsource all or a part of their production to China or to some other low-cost developing country, thereby permanently destroying hundreds of thousands of American jobs each year.