While President Trump was happy to claim credit for the apparent decisions by Carrier and Ford to keep certain manufacturing jobs in the US, it is not clear to what extent those decisions – or their subsequent reversals – were actually based on any specific policies of the Trump administration.
In early 2016, heating and air conditioning manufacturer Carrier Corporation announced that it would move over 2,000 jobs from plants in Indiana to Mexico. Then, shortly after the 2016 presidential election, Carrier announced that it would keep more than 1,000 of those jobs in Indiana, citing financial incentives from Indiana and the possibility of pro-business policies under the Trump administration.
In May 2017, Carrier announced that it would begin laying off hundreds of workers from those same plants – and layoffs began on July 20, 2017.
In April 2016, Ford Motor Co. announced that it was planning to build a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico to build small cars. Shortly after the 2016 presidential election, Ford announced that it had cancelled those plans, and would instead expand its plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. Then-President-Elect Donald Trump was quick to take credit for Ford’s decision.
Despite that reversal, Ford later announced that it plans to manufacture its next-generation Ford Focus model in China, rather than in the United States or Mexico.
American Oversight is investigating both moves to determine what communications each company may have had with the Trump administration about their plans – and whether Trump officials knew about the outsourcing decisions before they became public.