The solution isn't going to be found in tariffs. The solution is going to be found in those workers who were laid off finding something to do that the Chinese can't compete with.
We will never be able to compete in manufacturing so long as we continue to pay our workers fair wages. The solution to this is not to enact tariffs, but to specialize in something that you don't blow at. Tariffs do little more than raise costs for consumers and put further stress on an already strained trade relationship.
One, I hardly call our current trade status with China a relationship. Their shit comes in and a minimal amount of ours goes out. Two, as long as labor is cheap and there are no barriers to going to China for manufacturing, NOTHING we can make here will hold an advantage very long. There are so many startup costs, R&D, etc. in coming up with something the Chinese can't compete with. Then, as soon as someone does it, it's a race to China to duplicate it without the R&D costs, without the startup costs, and without the higher priced labor.
You say we'll never be able to compete in manufacturing as long as we continue to pay our workers fair wages. What do you propose? $5/day salaries? Slave labor? Seriously? There are two ways to reverse the trend. 1) Consumers must start buying American, even at a higher price. I don't see this happening now or in the near future. We've become a "I want it now and I want it cheap" society. 2) The playing field is leveled by imposing tariffs on goods coming in from overseas. I don't mean such tariffs that put them at a disadvantage, but ones that level the playing field.
My company battles this crap daily because of the Buy American Act. We have orders in had for several military jobs, but we have to turn them down because we have some products that come in from China. We were manufacturing domestically, but our costs were at best 40% higher no matter what we did. Everyone else in the industry was importing stuff. We just couldn't compete. For a while we were just importing stuff too, but now we've opened our own plant there. We are imposing our standards and quality control, but it's still coming from China.
I'm all for a better solution, but I don't think it exists.