Our eighth documentary film in the Beyond the Border series looks at the global automotive industry in an effort to explain supply chains. But it also reveals the hyper-competetive and challenging manufacturing environment facing the US in a networked, trade-driven world.
More to this theme–also masterfully addressed in Edward Luce’s Time to Start Thinking and CFR’s Richard Haas new book: Can the US accept these new realities and start planning to deal with what Harvard’s Jeffry Frieden calls “steady but far-too-slow-growth”? Adam Davidson, the brilliant Planet Money explainer writes:
It’s useful to consider the framework of Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, a political consultancy. American power during the past half century, Bremmer says, has been based on a strong military and an enormous market — one that can reward and punish. And while the former has maintained its standing, the rest of the world is becoming much less fixated on the latter. Romney and Barack Obama can promise to punish China all they want (Obama, in fact, made an identical point in 2008), but their statements merely suggest either that they don’t realize America’s economic power has diminished or (more likely) that they’re just too afraid to say it out loud. And that’s too bad. Those Rust Belt voters would be better served, Bremmer says, if the next president could persuade American businesses to stop complaining about China and instead focus on making goods that its consumers want to buy. For decades, Chinese businesses studied the American market. Now it’s time to play catch-up.
Watch Edward Luce: It’s ‘Time to Start Thinking’ America on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.