Oops. When Donald Trump swept to power two-and-a-half years ago, he promised to unleash a Made-in-America investment boom. Cue pictures of the president in worthy, widget-producing factories. Add to that corporate tax cuts in late 2017, coupled with measures to encourage the repatriation of overseas corporate cash piles, supposedly to boost capital expenditure. Events, however, have not played out quite as expected. Yes, as corporate tax rates have plunged, profits have surged – along with economic growth and jobs. That has given the White House some bragging rights on the world stage. “The American economy is the bright spot of the global economy,” Steven Mnuchin, Treasury secretary, proudly declared during the IMF’s spring meeting on Wednesday. “We had tax cuts … and [now] the jobs numbers and the inflation numbers and the investment numbers all look good!” However, there is a catch: the long-awaited boom in capital expenditure has not materialised. On the contrary, American execu...

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