In Focus | Trade War

When it comes to the battle over tariffs and trade, “We’re waging war on the wrong enemy,” says Craig O’Conner, an instructor in Georgetown University’s Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies program. Here, he tells the program’s faculty director, Simon Cleveland, Ph.D., that the real “enemy” isn’t the trade deficit; it’s automation and our inability to train enough workers for high-skilled jobs. Recently imposed tariffs have hurt U.S. businesses, such as the Harley-Davidson plant in Kansas City that closed this year (replaced by one in Thailand) because of high steel costs. Meanwhile, only about a third of U.S. counties are producing jobs—most of these located on the coasts and in high-tech inland cities—in part because of a lack of worker training.

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