A man is reflected in a storefront window as he walks along a street in downtown Gary, Indiana, September 6, 2013.
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Robert Z. Lawrence (PIIE)

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joseph Biden have made the recovery of US manufacturing jobs central to their campaigns. Both candidates support policies they say will increase exports of manufactured goods. But trade balances are not indicative of manufacturing employment. Even countries with large trade surpluses have experienced declining shares of manufacturing jobs.

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