Donald Trump made an historic visit to Indianapolis earlier this month to announce that he had convinced (heavily incentivized) Carrier – an air-conditioning and refrigeration technologies manufacturer – to keep more than 1,000 jobs in the United States as opposed to shipping them to Mexico. Amidst the fanfare Trump garnered as a result of this seemingly heroic victory, fact-checkers and those close to the negotiation revealed that Trump had fudged the numbers by a few hundred, inciting a Twitter war with the President-elect. When a union leader for Carrier employees told CNN that Trump had not saved 1,100 jobs but instead only preserved 800, Trump assaulted the man directly on his social media platform. “Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!”
While the debate over just how many jobs Trump had saved went back-and-forth for days, a final estimate finds that Trump saved a meager 37% of the jobs that were expected to leave the country. This entire debacle raised questions over the role that the president should play in day-to-day operations of firms operating in the United States, especially if it entails major tax breaks and financial incentives to keep jobs onshore. Trump has promised import tariffs on goods produced by other nations and various other financial punishments for companies that ship jobs overseas, forcing many true conservatives to wonder if Trump’s administration truly values the free-market capitalism it promised throughout the campaign season.
As the debate over Carrier and its ramifications dwindles, Trump has placed himself in a similar predicament with a recent announcement about more jobs he claims to have preserved and created. "They're taking them from other countries. They're bringing them back to the United States," announced the President-elect yesterday. "A nice change."
Sprint, a major phone service provider, confirmed that they would “create or bring back to America” nearly 5,000 jobs. Most of them will fall under customer care or sales. Trump then claimed credit for another announcement made by startup OneWeb, in which they promised to hire 3,000 American workers in high-tech manufacturing positions. Both commitments are components of a 50,000 job commitment announced earlier this month by a Japanese conglomerate with major stakes in both companies, SoftBank.
While Trump is praising himself for this accomplishment – just as he claimed he was responsible for record levels of consumer confidence in the U.S. – many wonder if he is truly responsible for the jobs. According to CNN Money, it was “in October, before Trump won the election, [when] SoftBank announced it was starting a $100 billion technology investment fund. While SoftBank didn't announce specifics, it was already talking to companies like OneWeb.”
While SoftBank did not announce that it would establish 50,000 American jobs until December, after the election, it appears that such a job-creation platform was in the works far before Trump could have any say in it. Trump, however, claims that the jobs would not have been created had Clinton won the election – a statement he made on Twitter, of all places.
Do you think Trump is actually saving American jobs? Or is he falsely credit-claiming?