Vote Now: Is Donald Trump the saviour of British manufacturing?

donald-trump-scotland-1The words ‘only in America’ seem to come to mind when I mention that Donald Trump is currently the favourite to be named the Republican party’s presidential candidate, with second-place contender Ted Cruz trailing some distance behind. The idea that this guy could become president is, for many, a sobering thought. However, could his policy ideas be used to help British manufacturing?

It would be easy to dismiss the gaff-prone billionaire as a mere buffoon but, with the potential of him becoming the leader of the worlds largest super-power fast becoming a real possibility, should we be asking ourselves if there is anything of actual merit amongst his often controversial outpourings?

Trump recently spoke at, the ironically named Liberty university, and suggested that when he became president it would be within his power to force Apple (and presumably other US manufacturers) to produce their products in the US. This would be achieved by imposing a 35 per cent tax on American companies who outsource their manufacturing overseas – an increase on the 15 per cent outsourcing tax he proposed in his 2011 book, Time to Get Tough.

It is all too easy to dismiss anything Trump says as the maddness of a man too invested in his own ego but this latest comment piqued my interest. This is because the concept of strenuously taxing firms that manufacture overseas, or otherwise legislating them, into producing domestically, is a view echoed by many in the UK who feel it is a realistic option to save British manufacturing.

What do you think? Is such a radical move likly to help or hinder our manufacturing sector?

Use the poll below and comment to join the discussion.

Should the UK government impose a significant tax to force British companies to manufacture in the UK?

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Comments

  1. Darren Woodiwiss says:

    It surely can’t just be that simple, the whole tax landscape needs to be looked at and if you force companies headquartered here to produce here, guess what, they will soon be headquartered elsewhere.

    For companies to choose to manufacture here it has to have a benefit, be it quality, lower administrative costs or increasingly parity in production costs.

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    • Audrey says:

      I wish it was that simple – I have spoken to many small manufacturers who would love to produce their items in the UK but genuinely cannot afford to. So rather than making them, it would make better sesne to support them and their suppliers to make it easier and cheaper to go with the option they choose, which we hope would then lead to more UK made products.

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  2. If we impose tariffs on our companies then so will everyone else.

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  3. Echoing the above comments I don’t think it is that simple. What is required for manufacturing to thrive in the UK is an even playing field and a real grass roots shift in attitude. These two things go hand in hand. If a foreign competitor does not have to conform to any of the regulations that our manufacturers do, or in some cases they are actively subsidised in order to undercut, some sort of adjustment to compensate could be made. This would also highlight to the consumer the unfair competition that results in the low prices, which go up of course once they have knocked the domestic competition out of the market, and may help to change attitudes to buying British made.

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