Somewhat related to the earlier post about Uber’s economics and its autonomous future, I found this article today from Alison Burke of the Brookings Institution:
Many are quick to blame trade for a loss of jobs in the manufacturing sector, yet [Foreign Policy Senior Fellow Mireya Solís] affirms that the predominant force behind losses in manufacturing employment has been technological change (85 percent), not international trade. As she explains, automation has transformed the American factory, and the advent of new technologies (like robotics and 3D printing) has rendered many low-skilled jobs unnecessary.
Coincidentally, this article was released the same day that the Nikkei Asian Review published their scoop that Foxconn was looking into what it would take to move iPhone production to the U.S., should a large tariff be imposed on goods imported from China. Manufacturing automation would be absolutely critical should such a move occur.