A Study by Good Jobs Nation and Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch
Critiques of U.S. trade policy and offshoring of American jobs played an unprecedented role in the 2016 presidential election.
Donald Trump’s electoral campaign emphasized pledges to bring down the trade deficit, punish U.S.-based firms that shift production to foreign venues via offshoring and to “bring back” jobs to America. His promises won over many voters in America’s
industrial heartland who had supported Barack Obama in the prior two elections and may have played a decisive role in winning him the presidency.
As president-elect, Trump went on to attract national attention with his highly publicized intervention against United Technologies’ plans to offshore more than 2,000 jobs to Mexico from the Indiana-based manufacturing plants of its subsidiary Carrier.
The fact that United Technologies gets billions of dollars in federal contracts each year played a major role in the public debate, even though the Carrier jobs at issue were not themselves related to these contracts. And, shortly after arriving in office, President
Trump declared “Buy American, Hire American” as a guiding tenet of his presidency.