China blamed for destroying U.S. manufacturing

Steel furnace in the U.K., 1954. Photo: Maurice Broomfield/SSPL/Getty

New data have persuaded many economists that Chinese trade, and not robots, is at fault for vanished manufacturing jobs across the Ohio and Mississippi river belts, but a key expert is disputing the finding.

Why it matters: Within the answer may lie the answer to resurrecting at least some of the hollowed out manufacturing heartland, or at least not making the same mistakes again. And it may also help explain the rise of populist leaders like President Trump.