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Walmart this week made 10 recommendations for how the US manufacturing sector might revitalize itself and "help recapture $300 billion of the $650 billion worth of consumer goods that are currently imported."

According to the Reuters story, "The company's policy proposals included building vocational training programs, reducing costs for private industry to train workers, rebranding U.S. manufacturing to attract workers and drive demand for domestic products, encouraging component production to close supply chain gaps and promoting manufacturing clusters through public-private cooperation.

"Other proposals included eliminating federal overlap in manufacturing regulations, creating flexible compliance requirements for small businesses, creating a globally competitive tax environment, expanding tax deductions to foster manufacturing investments and overhauling trade agreements."

The MarketWatch story points out that Walmart made the recommendations "without irony," even though the retailer "could arguably be said to be a contributor to the demise of U.S. manufacturing, with its rapacious sourcing of consumer goods from China as it became the nation’s dominant retailer ... A 2015 estimate from the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank, said Wal-Mart’s trade deficit with China had displaced more than 400,000 U.S. jobs."

MarketWatch also notes that "in 2013, the Arkansas-based retailer committed to sourcing an additional $250 billion of goods “that support American jobs” over a decade. Wal-Mart says two-thirds of products sold in its U.S. stores are made, assembled, sourced or grown domestically."
KC's View:
I do love irony, and, as the story points out, these prescriptions fairly drip with it. It seems to me that, regardless of whether these all make sense, achieving any of them to any degree, much less all of them, would require a level of public policy maturity and nuance of which the nation and its leaders in both parties are incapable.