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54 SMT Magazine • February 2017 Many of us look to the new U.S. federal ad- ministration sworn in on January 20 with a high level of economic curiosity. How will the new President's economic policies affect the high-tech electronic product assembly indus- try? Will the policies result in more jobs in our industry going to sources with low labor rates, or will they result in a renaissance of manufac- turing and assembly activity here in the States and other high-labor-rate regions of the world? As President-Elect, Trump said: "Companies are not going to leave the United States any- more without consequences." 1 Does that mean that U.S. companies choos- ing to manufacture outside the U.S. will be pe- nalized with an import tax (tariff) on their prod- ucts when they are imported to the States for sale? That is the threat. This is the sort of protectionist policy Brazil has had in place for decades. Products that are assembled outside Brazil and imported into Bra- zil are taxed. The increased price of the product is passed along to the Brazilian consumer. So, if you want to competitively sell your products into this large market (about 210 million peo- ple), you really need to assemble it there. Historically, the evidence suggests when the government tinkers with the private business sector it never ends well. And, "ends" is the op- erative word. We live in a throw away world. Whether it is a diabolical crime or a Super Bowl victory the impact of a news story doesn't last very long in the collective consciousness. Politicians are aware of the public's fleeting appetite. They will often promote a policy that sounds good in the moment and plays to the emotional mood of the people for the potential popularity or vote count it brings—establishing a straw man on which to blame the plight of the by Tom Borkes THE JEFFERSON PROJECT A New Organizational Model Using Logic, Cost Effectiveness and Customer Service, Part 3 JUMPING OFF THE BANDWAGON

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