Millions of working families are taking notice of the widening gap between President Donald Trump’s campaign promises and the reality of his actions.
As AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders put it last week, “While President Trump ran on a promise to lift up the forgotten man and woman … his actions in the first 100 days of his presidency prove where his real priorities lie: with the interests of corporations and a handful of the most privileged and powerful.”
One of Trump’s most recurrent campaign promises was to protect American jobs from being shipped overseas. Before he even became president, he tried to pressure Carrier, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., to stop offshoring jobs to Mexico.
But something’s changed. After 100 days in office, Trump continues to reward U.S. companies that offshore jobs.
As a new study by Good Jobs Nation and Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch reveals, there’s a conspicuous absence of activity on this front by the Trump administration, which has failed to take even the most basic steps toward stopping the outflow.
“Despite the president having expansive executive authority to set procurement policy and past presidents using that authority to deliver on their policy commitments and goals, the Trump administration has failed to exclude offshoring firms from qualifying for billions of dollars in federal contracts,” according to the study.
Take United Technologies Corp. In fiscal year 2016, it received almost $6.5 billion in federal contracts despite shipping 5,716 jobs overseas. After Trump’s intervention, it went ahead with plans to relocate more than 1,000 jobs to Mexico. And yet, it continues to receive federal contracts, according to the report.
The same is true with most of the top 100 commercial contractors that do business with the federal government. As the study points out, among the top 100, “those that offshored American jobs obtained almost three times the value in contracts as those that did not offshore.”
The top 100 commercial contractors that had federal contracts in fiscal year 2016 sent nearly 59,000 American jobs overseas, the report says.
Trump has the authority to demand that companies keep jobs in the United States before they qualify for federal contracts. As the study notes, “legislative or executive action that conditions federal contract awards on the preservation of American jobs could play a major role in incentivizing a sea-change in the behavior of major U.S. corporations.”
We wonder if keeping jobs in the U.S. is still a priority for Trump. Near the end of his first 100 days, he scrambled for executive orders to sign so he could show progress. And yet none of his 30-plus orders, the most issued by any president since Harry Truman, deals directly with the offshoring issue.