Why Not Double Imports or Just Total International Trade Over the Next Five Years to Create Jobs?
Huffington Post -- "Buoyed by strong demand from China and India, the U.S. trade deficit dropped to its lowest level in 9 months, as exports rose to their highest level in two years. These numbers should please the Obama Administration, who've set out to double exports over the next five years to combat high unemployment rates and encourage domestic manufacturers. Analysis by the Economics and Statistics Administration indicate that exports will this year support close to 9.4 million jobs, an increase from a 2009 estimate that put the number at 8.5 million."
MP: Isn't there an underlying mercantilist, fixed-pie assumption here that exports create jobs, and imports destroy jobs? As the chart above shows, more than half of U.S. imports are inputs (industrial supplies, raw materials and capital goods) that were purchased this year by U.S. firms and will become part of some production process in the U.S. that will help support or create jobs in the U.S. Why shouldn't we have a goal to double imports over the next five years, or simply to double international trade in general over the next five years (see post below)?