U.S. multinational companies have taken advantage of lower trade barriers over the past 15 years to shift jobs and production to lower-wage countries, a practice generally known as outsourcing. That's cut costs for consumers and helped those companies grow, which can support employment in the United States. Still, it has also raised fears that the United States is permanently losing the kind of high-paying, manufacturing jobs needed to support a healthy middle class.
Even so, economists warn that the two candidates are overstating the potential for a manufacturing renaissance. Jeffrey Bergstrand, a professor at the University of Notre Dame, calls it "factory nostalgia."