As if we needed another reminder, much of Trump’s rhetoric is just that, rhetoric.
He spoke glowingly throughout his rise to power of saving the supposedly failing American economy via stopping the flow of jobs leaving the U.S. for places like Mexico. He’s suggested an array of policies to make this promise a reality, including slapping massive tariffs on certain goods imported from Mexico and slashing regulations left and right to make it easier for corporations to base their business in the United States.
Mind you, the regulations targeted by the Trump Administration are in place for a reason — which in many cases is to protect the environment — but to Trump, that’s not a pressing concern.
The problem with Trump’s approach to “saving” U.S. manufacturing jobs is that it’s not working. On the one hand, pretty much every major investment prompting jobs growth that Trump has touted in the past few months has had nothing to do with him. Most of them were simply the carrying out of plans that were first made while President Obama was still in the White House.
However, as Bloomberg is reporting, that’s not the only issue.
At the same time as a number of companies are building up their American operations base in moves that have nothing to do with Trump whatsoever, a number of companies are moving some of their operations south of the border. The publication describes it as things getting back to normal in terms of how many companies are outsourcing jobs, saying that in the weeks after Donald Trump’s election, outsourcing had slowed down to “a trickle.”
According to Bloomberg:
- Illinois Tool Works Inc. will close an auto-parts plant in Mazon, Illinois, this month and head to Ciudad Juarez.
- Triumph Group Inc. is reducing the Spokane, Washington, workforce that makes fiber-composite parts for Boeing Co. aircraft and moving production to Zacatecas and Baja California.
- TE Connectivity Ltd. is shuttering a pressure-sensor plant in Pennsauken, New Jersey, in favor of a facility in Hermosillo.
A number of prominent persons in the field of manufacturing spoke to Bloomberg about how Trump simply doesn’t seem to grasp that macroeconomics and the continuing pace of globalization demands that some of the companies in question move at least some of their operations to Mexico. They might not be able to grow as a business otherwise.
Alan Russell, who serves as the CEO of the El Paso, Texas-based Tecma Group, told Bloomberg quite simply: “This isn’t about taking jobs from the U.S. — It’s about saving companies.”
For many of these companies, they would no longer be competitive if they were to stay entirely in the United States.
Trump, however, simply drummed up support for his rise to power by exploiting low wage manufacturing workers with empty promises that he would bring their jobs back. That promise isn’t likely to become a reality any time soon, with Twitter blasts unable to reverse the pull of global competition, in the words of Bloomberg’s Thomas Black.
The one deal that Trump has been able to strike that keeps jobs in the United States isn’t really that much of a wonder. Trump got an Indiana Carrier plant to stop their move to Mexico, but the stop was only in part. Some of the jobs are actually still moving to Mexico, and the rest are likely to soon get taken over by robots.
Featured Image via Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images.