President Trump’s stated plans to bring back and preserve American manufacturing jobs hit two more snags this week. Boeing and Carrier announced hundreds of layoffs — despite Trump’s visits to their plants and assertion that he had saved many of those jobs.
The news follows Ford Motors’ announcement this week that they will be moving production of their best-selling Ford Focus to China.
Yesterday, Carrier said that it would be laying off 600 workers and moving jobs to Mexico — much the original plan before Trump’s visit.
Last Dec. 1, then-candidate Trump visited Carrier’s Indianapolis plant and said he had struck a deal convincing the company to preserve 1,100 jobs there. That became a frequent topic in Trump’s campaign. “They’re going to have a great Christmas,” Trump told cheering steelworkers.
“And by the way, that number is going to go up very substantially as they expand this area,” he said. “So the 1,100 is going to be a minimum number.”
“The jobs are still leaving,” said Robert James, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999 this week. “Nothing has stopped.”
After the layoffs, the plant will employ 200 union members.
Meanwhile, Boeing is planning to lay off 200 employees. President Trump visited the company’s South Carolina plant in February to mark the debut Boeing’s 787-10. There, he threatened a “substantial penalty” on companies that shift their operations overseas.
“As your president, I’m going to do everything I can to unleash the power of the American spirit and to put our great people back to work,” Trump said at the time. “It has to be much easier for manufacturers in our country, and much harder [for them] to leave.”
On the campaign trail, Trump criticized Ford for its plans to move jobs to Mexico. On Wednesday, Ford officials said that in 2019, they will move production of their popular Ford Focus to China instead. “Consumers care a lot more about the quality and the value than they do about the sourcing location,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of global operations. “iPhones are produced in China and people don’t really talk about it.”
The White House has not commented on the planned moves.