Bringing Back Manufacturing Jobs Would Be Harder Than It Sounds

Author: Jim Zarroli

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It's a line that draws thunderous applause at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign rallies, one that can sometimes even bring the crowd to its feet: Let's bring back America's lost manufacturing jobs.

And is there any question why? The United States has lost nearly 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000 alone, hollowing out factory towns all over the country and leaving countless working-class Americans struggling.

Getting those jobs back is a goal that politicians of all stripes eagerly line up behind. But the plain truth is that, legally speaking, there's not a lot that Trump or any other president could do to bring those jobs back, without an act of Congress.

Presidents simply don't have the power to tell companies whom to hire or where to manufacture, says Jeffrey Bergstrand, professor of finance at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame.

"Firms are going to make the decisions for their shareholders. If he wants to do this, he is going to have to use government institutions and laws to restrict the decisions of firms," Bergstrand says.

Read the entire story on the NPR website.