Revelations Cloud Trump’s ‘Pledge’ Anniversary Event on Thursday
According to a new analysis of U.S. Department of Labor data, firms that signed Donald Trump’s July 2018 pledge to create U.S. employment “opportunities” have outsourced thousands of jobs during the Trump administration, even as Trump continues to award billions in government contracts to firms that also have been certified as job-outsourcers by the Trump administration.
On Thursday, Trump is holding a White House event to celebrate his “Pledge to America’s Workers.” The pledge includes a commitment by firms to create specific numbers of job “opportunities.” While 282 firms pledged to create more than 9.9 million new job opportunities, dozens of them have sent Americans’ jobs overseas during the Trump era, according to certifications by the U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program.
The TAA program is a significant undercount of total outsourcing, given that workers must know to apply for benefits and meet narrow criteria. As detailed in the table below, companies that participated in the pledge have been certified as outsourcing 7,327 jobs during the Trump administration alone. For example, pledge-signing firm Siemens has outsourced 957 jobs during the Trump reign.
The new TAA data analysis also reveals that contrary to Trump’s campaign promise to no longer award government contracts to outsourcers, Trump has awarded billions in contracts to Boeing, General Electric, United Technologies and many other firms even as those firms have been certified as outsourcing during the Trump administration.
Boeing has outsourced 5,607 jobs during Trump’s tenure after being awarded $53.1 billion in contracts in 2017 and 2018; General Electric has outsourced 1,062 after being awarded $5.66 billion during the same period; and United Technologies has outsourced 989 jobs after getting $8.7 billion in contracts.
Trump’s electoral campaign emphasized pledges to bring down the trade deficit, punish U.S.-based firms that shift production to foreign venues via outsourcing and to “bring back” jobs to America. A U.S. president has authority under the Procurement Act of 1949 to enact “policies and directives” for federal contracting without additional congressional legislation and to ban altogether government purchase of goods from countries such as China under the Trade Agreements Act of 1979. However, Trump has failed to use this authority to take the immediate action he promised to stop rewarding firms that outsource jobs with lucrative government contracts.
Companies that Signed Trump Pledge to Create U.S. Jobs and Outsourced
|Company Name||Certified TAA Jobs Outsourced||Certified TAA Jobs Outsourced during Trump Administration||Number of Jobs Pledged*|
|Johnson & Johnson||936||0||10,000|
|The Adecco Group||521||0||10,000|
|Ernst and Young LLP||101||94||110,000|
|InterContinental Hotels Group||22||0||250,000|
METHODOLOGY: Data on jobs pledged derived from July 23, 2019 search of the White House website https://www.whitehouse.gov/pledge-to-americas-workers/. Data on jobs is “shift in production” petitions certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as outsourced derived from a July 23, 2019, search of the TAA database https://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/petitioners/taa_search_form.cfm.
Top 10 Commercial Federal Contractors by Number of TAA-Certified Offshored Jobs (2017)
|Federal Contractor||Total Jobs Certified as Outsourced Under TAA||Total Jobs Certified as Outsourced Under TAA Under Trump Administration||FY 2017 Contract Award**|
**Rounded to the nearest million
Top 10 Commercial Federal Contractors by Number of TAA-Certified Offshored Jobs (2018)
|Federal Contractor||Jobs Certified as Outsourced Under TAA||Total Jobs Certified as Outsourced Under TAA Under Trump Administration||FY 2018 Contract Award**|
**Rounded to the nearest million
METHODOLOGY: To create the tables below, we combined data from www.usaspending.gov, which lists the firms that obtain federal contracts and the dollar value of those contracts, with “shift in production” petitions certified by the TAA program of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) since 1994.
Note on TAA: The U.S. Department of Labor certifies trade-impacted workplaces under its Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. This program provides a list of trade-related job losses and job retraining and extended unemployment benefits to workers who lose jobs to trade. TAA is a narrow program, covering only a subset of workers who lose jobs to trade. It does not provide a comprehensive list of facilities or jobs that have been offshored or lost to import competition. Although the TAA data represent a significant undercount of trade-related job losses, TAA is the only government program that provides information about job losses officially certified by the U.S. government to be trade-related. Public Citizen provides an easily searchable version of the TAA database. Please review our guide on how to interpret the data here and the technical documentation here.