Nate Jackson / May 25, 2017

Carrier Jobs Move to Mexico, Trump Not to Blame

True, Trump failed to keep his overpromise, but the real culprit is a poorly kept “secret” — minimum wage costs jobs.

“Here’s what’s going to happen,” Candidate Donald Trump told Indiana Hoosiers at a rally last year. “They’re going to call me, and they are going to say, ‘Mr. President, Carrier has decided to stay in Indiana.’” He went on, “100%. It’s not like we have an 80% chance of keeping them or a 95% [chance]. 100%.” He was talking about plans for Carrier, an Indiana-based subsidiary of United Technologies, to move 1,000+ jobs to Mexico. As was typical with many of Trump’s campaign promises, the reasonable expectation was that he’d to work to fix the situation, not that his promise would literally true.

However, in December, Carrier announced it was going to keep most of those jobs in Indiana in exchange for $7 million in tax incentives partially negotiated by Trump’s right-hand man, Vice President Mike Pence, the former Indiana governor. As we said at the time, such cronyism isn’t ideal, but it’s often the way the art of the deal works. “Carrier stepped it up,” Trump told an audience of cheering factory workers, “and now they’re keeping over 1,100 people.”

No so fast — Carrier announced this week that 632 jobs would indeed be headed to Mexico.

Now, there’s no question Trump over-promised and under-delivered. He usually speaks in broad generalizations and big boasts, so this isn’t unusual. Still, such bravado leaves him wide open to tut-tut “journalism” from the Leftmedia, who use each such story as an example of the savior failing to save. Trump should learn from this. He probably won’t.

That said, there’s a little nugget in The Washington Post’s coverage that should provide some counterpoint: “The manufacturing jobs will move to Monterrey, Mexico, where the minimum wage is $3.90.”

So, using the Post’s same logic about Trump, don’t Democrats always promise — “without evidence,” to borrow another Post phrase — that raising the minimum wage won’t cost jobs? Well, here’s yet more concrete evidence of a company saving a lot of money by paying Mexican workers $3.90 an hour instead of union-negotiated American wages. There’s evidence of this same phenomenon all over America, yet Democrats keep right on making promises they can’t keep. Don’t hold your breath for The Washington Post to hold them accountable.

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