Donald Trump's policies would boost production

Balance: Trump could not give US industry any positive impulses

The focus of Trump's rhetoric and actions were the steel and aluminum industries, for which he imposed protective tariffs in 2017. And the automotive industry, for which a higher proportion of domestic production (“local content”) was stipulated in the newly negotiated NAFTA agreement.

There was no notable increase in production in any of the industries during the Trump years. In the steel industry, only the economic dip of the years 2015/16 was overcome and the level of the (Obama) years 2010 to 2014 was reached again. The production level of the aluminum industry and the auto industry did not increase in the Trump years and remained constant.

No employment boom

Trump did not manage to generate the employment boom he had announced in any of the three industries. In the aluminum industry the number of employees stagnated, in the steel industry it rose only slightly in line with the overall economy. The positive employment trend in the automotive 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. 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 upcoming President of the USA should better cushion the associated structural change, for example through targeted investments in infrastructure and education in the regions particularly affected. "