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President Trump's trade war with China won't bring back the jobs lost from the trade deficit with China, according to Robert Scott, a senior economist at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, whose work Trump cited on the campaign trail and during his presidency.

Expand chart
Chart: Economic Policy Institute; Chris Canipe/Axios

Why it matters: Here's an example of the trade debate's complexity. Some economists who agree with Trump that unfair trade has hurt U.S. workers don't think his tariff response will reverse the damage.

U.S. jobs have been impacted, Scott says in a new report, because "imports from China have soared while exports to China have increased much less.” In some regions of the U.S., the manufacturing sector is not growing as much as it could “if new factories were opening and existing plants were hiring more workers,” thanks to more production of goods in China, not the U.S.

  • China has to stop weakening the yuan, which makes Chinese exports less expensive for U.S. consumers, Scott told Axios. (In a recent report, the Treasury Department did not call out China as a currency manipulator, despite Trump's repeated accusations.)

Trump campaigned on the promise to bring manufacturing jobs back. Considering jobs in this sector have been on the upswing, he may claim some success. But Scott told Axios that tariffs, which could potentially raise costs for factories, won't be the reason for total revival of the industry.

The other side: Mark Perry, a scholar at conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, says factory jobs have been declining since the 1940s, way before China entered the WTO, and technology is to blame, not trade.

  • "Those factory jobs ain’t ever comin’ back, no matter what Trump does," Perry said.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother. He denies her allegations.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.