Trump Touts Manufacturing in Ohio as Covid Deaths and Unemployment Surge
Today, President Donald Trump will travel to Clyde, Ohio, to tour the Whirlpool Corporation’s washing machine facility and deliver remarks on revitalizing the U.S. manufacturing industry. He will also hold a high-dollar fundraiser in Cleveland, with tickets ranging from $5,600 to $100,000. This comes as the United States nears 5 million coronavirus infections and 159,000 fatalities and as a new model estimates that the total Ohio death toll could fall between 3,511 and 4,676 people this month.
In June, Whirlpool announced that they would be laying off workers, even though the corporation is eligible for and has not yet taken advantage of generous credit through the CARES Act. In the first year after President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, Whirlpool avoided paying any taxes and the CEO’s salary increased by 75 percent.
President Trump, in seeking to shore up support from his manufacturing base, is likely to tout his administration’s tariffs and so-called economic achievements. However, his administration’s policies and failure to address the COVID-19 crisis have devastated the state’s economy. In June, Ohio’s unemployment rate rose 6.8 percentage points from February to 10.9 percent, with roughly 390,000 more state residents out of work. As of August 3, approximately 1.6 million Ohio residents, representing 27.1 percent of the state’s February labor force, have filed unemployment insurance claims since the beginning of March. Moreover, Ohio’s plummeting tax revenues have created a funding crisis for schools, health care, and other critical services. The Ohio state government has projected a budget shortfall of $2.3 billion in FY 2021, representing a decline of 9 percent.
In 2016, President Trump claimed that his administration would revitalize the manufacturing sector in Ohio. However, as a result of his administration’s economic policies, failed trade war, and botched coronavirus response, Ohio has seen an overall decline in job creations, stagnant wages, and a decrease in manufacturing exports.
Learn more about how the Trump administrations policies have hurt Ohio families below.
Claim: “We are going to get our economy growing again.” — Donald Trump in Cincinnati, October 16, 2016
Reality: Even prior to the Trump administration’s failure to address the coronavirus and Ohio’s current economic collapse, the state’s economy had been in decline since the previous administration.
- The Ohio economy grew by 6.2 percent during the last three years of the Obama-Biden administration, but growth dropped to 5.2 percent in the first three years of the Trump administration.
- According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, job creation has been in decline under the Trump administration:
- 64.1 percent fewer Ohio jobs were added during the first three years of the Trump administration than were created in the last three years of the Obama-Biden administration. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio had started losing jobs: In January 2020, Ohio had 1,300 fewer payroll jobs than in January 2019.
- 38.5 percent fewer manufacturing jobs in Ohio were added in the first three years of the Trump administration than were created in the last three years of the Obama-Biden administration. By January 2020, the state saw 5,500 fewer manufacturing jobs than one year prior.
- 3.9 percent fewer construction jobs in Ohio were added in the first three years of the Trump administration than in the last three years of the Obama-Biden administration.
- The Trump administration’s erratic trade policies also hurt Ohio’s economy:
- Total goods exports to other countries from Ohio fell in the first three years under President Trump. Real exports were 2.5 percent lower in his first three years than they were in the last three years of the Obama-Biden administration. It got worse in 2019, when exports of goods to other countries from Ohio declined by 4.3 percent.
- Manufacturing exports to other countries from Ohio also fell in the first three years under President Trump. Real manufacturing exports were 2.9 percent lower in his first three years than they were in the last three years of the Obama-Biden administration. In 2019, state manufacturing exports declined by 4.9 percent.
- Crop exports to other countries from Ohio have seen a real decline of 6.9 percent under President Trump as of 2018 — the latest year for which U.S. Department of Agriculture data are available.
Profits and wages
Claim: “My economic plan is going to grow this economy, raise your wages.” — Donald Trump in Akron, Ohio, August 22, 2016
Reality: Trump claimed that his administration would prioritize the interests of the middle class. Instead, his administration is rewriting the rules to reward corporate interests and making it harder for working Americans to get ahead:
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data also show that wage growth has fallen behind rising prices in Ohio: Over the first three years of Trump’s presidency — from January 2017 to January 2020 — the cost of living rose by 6.2 percent while average weekly wages only grew by 4.6 percent. Manufacturing wages were slightly better than the average but still failed to keep up with rising prices, with the average weekly wage only going up by 5.6 percent.
Claim: “You’re going to have great health care at a fraction of the cost.” — Donald Trump in Delaware, Ohio, October 20, 2016
Reality: The Trump administration has doubled down on its commitment to taking health care away from millions of Americans while offering no viable replacement plan during a pandemic. Below are several ways Ohio residents would be harmed if the administration succeeds in fully repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the Supreme Court:
- 863,000 Ohioans would lose coverage, causing the state’s uninsured rate to increase by 105 percent.
- 4.8 million Ohioans with preexisting conditions would face higher premiums or be barred from coverage altogether — a discriminatory practice that the ACA outlawed.
- 1.8 million Ohioans would face cost limits on employer-based coverage.
- The state of Ohio would lose $4.4 billion in federal Medicaid funding, and demand for uncompensated care would increase by $1.9 billion, straining hospitals.