Donald Trump told workers in a Carrier factory he would keep their jobs from going to Mexico. He promised them.
He said he would call the owners. He would hit the company with a tariff. It would make it unprofitable to move the plant. He said they would call back and say, “Sir, we have decided to stay in the United States.”
Carrier says it is not changing its plans. On Friday, the company said, it is making every effort to ease the transition to Mexico. It will finance a four-year retraining and educational program. The company will give financial help.
Was Trump’s promise wise? Will he start a trade war with Mexico and China, to name two countries? It could hurt American workers who make products for export. American consumers could pay more for goods they buy from other countries. Such a policy could slow down the American economy.
Why do companies move? They do it to please investors. These people want profits that increase the value of their shares of stock.
The Carrier Company makes air conditioners and furnaces. Carrier makes a profit. But its workers in Mexico will make in a day what US Carrier workers earn in an hour.
There are 1,400 jobs at Carrier. The closings are to start next summer. The factory will close in 2019.
Indiana and other states are doing well. But many of the new jobs are service jobs. They pay about half of what Carrier workers earn. Low wages are one of the reasons many voters were not happy. Poor economic growth is a challenge the new president will face.
The economy is changing. People without college degrees are not ready for the new jobs. The jobs call for more brain than muscle.
Across the globe, money is going to the owners of businesses. It is not going to the workers.
The workers are looking for Trump to make good on his promise.
Source: The New York Times November 12, 2016