Historically, China has been the first to make changes and advancements in technology and government, with the rest of the world following suit. I think the layoffs are a great way to reduce dependency on globalization and will be beneficial in the long run. The United States and Canada also have a large dependency on trade, which isn't necessarily reliable.
China plays by its own rules so it can do what it wants about its economy. For the rest of the world and countries such as the United States, laying off so many workers would be detrimental to the economy. When people have jobs and they work, they spend what they and that keeps the economy rolling along smoothly.
What China did was not at all in consideration of what their decision could do to their citizens. These Chinese workers now how no way to support their families, and must now look through a crowded market to find a new job. I think America would not do this to the citizens just to become less export driven.
The 1.8 million steel and coal workers being laid off by Chinese steel companies in order to become a less export driven economy will not be followed by the United States. It's at a point where the United State is looking to become a more independent country and in order to do that they must continue to produce things at home instead of using oversea workers to produce and import.