Measuring Trump’s role in US jobs announcements
Jobs growth is a centerpiece of President Trump’s agenda, but there’s already debate over his role in creating and protecting thousands of U.S. jobs.
Since election day, several U.S. and foreign companies — as varied as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co. — have unveiled plans to add American jobs, shift jobs back to U.S. soil or keep jobs in the United States.
Having vowed to be “the greatest jobs producer that God ever created,” Trump has touted the announcements as evidence of the new business climate he’s brought to the White House, including his pledge to seek lower corporate taxes and fewer regulations.
Some of the announcements came after the companies’ executives met with him at Trump Tower in New York, and the implication was clear: Trump’s power of persuasion, or his threats to make the companies’ futures more costly if they didn’t promote U.S. jobs, also prompted them to invest more heavily in jobs at home.
UC Irvine. “This is pure PR …. They are making these announcements to keep him off their back.”
Even so, the flurry of announcements regarding U.S. jobs and investment following Trump’s election and before he even was sworn in as president mark an unusual chapter in U.S. business history.
Trump immediately brought enormous publicity to the issue of job creation, and the spotlight is likely to intensify now that he can actually influence corporate taxes, trade and other policies.
Indeed, the White House last week joined with executives from several major U.S. companies and labor leaders to set up a “manufacturing jobs initiative” to help Trump formulate policy.
Some experts say Trump’s promise to cut corporate taxes and regulations might be changing hearts and minds in executive suites nationwide.
“He is creating a much better, more competitive investment environment for corporations in this globalized world,” said William Yu, an economist at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
Yu acknowledged that the recent announcements were probably driven by concerns about impressing the president and the public, but that Trump’s “pro-business” bent could be at least a small part of the calculus for corporations.
Of course, companies will still have to contend with higher U.S. labor costs if they cancel plants abroad. Yu suggested they might try to save on labor by pouring money into machines and technology that would ultimately eliminate some chunk of their workforce here.
“I think CEOs are
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