Trump Upholds Manufacturing Promise But is it Sustainable?

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American Manufacturers are rejoicing this week due to President-Elect, Donald J. Trump’s, successful negotiations keeping many manufacturing jobs in the United States. This adds credibility behind Trumps promise to make sure businesses in the industry keep production domestic. This power move is not without criticism though, with many saying that it relies too heavily on taxpayer dollars.

This issue arose during Trump’s campaign when air-conditioning giant, Carrier, had announced they would be moving 2,000 factory jobs from Indiana to Mexico. Trump immediately made this a focal point of his campaign, making it a promise to make sure those jobs don’t leave the country. This came full circle on Thursday when the president-elect and Indiana’s governor/vice-president elect Mike Pence met at Carrier’s facility to announce that roughly 1,000 jobs are staying there.

Many employees are relieved to hear this great news. Robin Maynard, whose been employed with Carrier for 24 years said “Now I can put my daughter through college without having to look for another job.”  This has inspired hope to many Americans working in the manufacturing industry who were concerned about their job, proving that Trump is ready to take on big business. This does not mean corporations have to fear the upcoming administration. Both Trump and Pence plan on holding up the promises made during their campaign. These pledges being to ease regulations and overhaul the corporate tax code for big businesses.

While Carrier is best known for making air conditioners, the plant in Indianapolis manufactures gas furnaces and fan coils for electric furnaces. The jobs that have been saved come from two separate facilities in Indiana, the Carrier plant in Indianapolis and the United Technologies plant in Huntington. Carrier is taking a hit of 65,000,000 dollars by not outsourcing the jobs, but all things considered is much better than the PR nightmare that would arise from moving the jobs. United Technologies also needed to protect their military contracting business which was in danger due to Congress’s push to punish military contractors trying to move labor out of the country.

Critics of the deal are saying that although 1,000 jobs were saved it is only a small victory and it is not a sustainable economic policy. Over time the temptation to move production to factories outside the U.S. will only look more desirable. “Memories are short but the economic fundamentals remain the same, Wall street is breathing down companies’ necks to cut costs, and labor savings in Mexico is too great” said Robert Reich, former secretary of labor under the Clinton administration. Another criticism is that it does not address the larger problem of jobs being lost due to technological advances.

Although the move has face many criticisms it is undoubtedly one worthy of praise, especially from all the Carrier employees who don’t have to worry about their jobs. In a time when it is not uncommon to hear about manufacturer’s outsourcing jobs, seeing that one company has decided to overturn their decision is refreshing. This is good news for American manufacturing employees and hopefully the president-elect will keep making progress for job security in the industry.