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Industries In Distress

But the real nitty-gritty fact is that many of these companies are floundering in the United States because times have changed and robotics manufacturing is pushing people out of jobs
By The News · 09 of May 2017 09:11:06
U.S. President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, U.S. President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017. Traditionally the first address to a joint session of Congress by a newly-elected president is not referred to as a State of the Union., photo: AP

Tweeting Donald is at it again, bashing, for a change, not Mexico but companies who had long before he became president announced their intent to move to Mexico.

This is the case of industrial ball bearings manufacturer Rexnord of Indiana who finally last week decided to move its facility to Mexico.

A problem here is that Milwaukee-based Rexnord had agreed with the local Steelworkers Union chapter to negotiate work severance for the 350 workers since March 2016 and this move had long been in the planning. Employees were never fired as Trump’s torching words claim; only Trump fires people.

Notice that Mr. Trump threatens now to slap Rexnord product with a big tax but reality has it that Tweeting Donald’s wrath over companies disobeying his personal mandate (not the U.S. trade laws) will eventually not make a dent in the plans of companies moving abroad because of the simple reason that it’s cost-effective, even if the U.S. Treasury slaps countervailing duties on them.

But Rexnord is just the tip of the iceberg as there are a large number of manufacturing companies that expect to move to Monterrey, Mexico, regardless of consequences including pulling the United States out of the much maligned North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

In Elkhart, Indiana, at least two more companies are expected to make their move to Mexico very soon.
One is Harman Professional, an audio equipment manufacturer that will be shutting down 125 jobs out of its production and warehousing facility to Tijuana.

Another one is auto parts manufacturer CTS Corp. which will be laying off 230 employees to divide its manufacturing and distribution plants not only to Mexico, but to China and Taiwan as well.

In Sellersburg, Indiana, Manitowoc Beverage Company will lay off over 80 workers who make beverage dispensing machinery and will also move its operation to Tijuana.

At Lafayette, TRW Automotive will close down two small plants hiring 65 workers but did not announce if it was shutting down operations altogether, or moving elsewhere with better wage conditions for business.

The above data has been gathered by IndyStar newspaper which called each and every one of the above mentioned companies but failed to answer inquiring calls as not to attract the President’s attention.

It only managed to quote a forwarding department employee at the Matthews-Aurora Funeral Solutions Michael Mobley who admitted that Trump’s approach won’t work well because “dealing with individual companies is not going to work out. There are too many companies.” That, in reference to President Trump’s one-for-one approach to threats with increased taxation.

The problem is that in Indiana, each of the employees makes $25 an hour while in Mexico, China or Taiwan they would be making less than $5 an hour.

Even at Carrier, which Trump cried victory over last December when it announced it would not move facilities and jobs to Mexico, some 300 workers have requested their voluntary leaves which might come next September.

They will receive severance pay including a week per worked year and six months in medical insurance as well as their right to receive federal unemployment insurance while they find new jobs. Plant managers said that the plant is unprofitable and announced its closure starting 2018.

The problem is that President Donald Trump is “married” to his own post-truth that Mexico is to blame for the woes of the U.S. working class and that the $60 billion surplus Mexico has in terms of NAFTA trade with the United States is to blame.

But the real nitty-gritty fact is that many of these companies are floundering in the United States because times have changed and robotics manufacturing is pushing many good and decent American workers out of the employment ranks.

But this will be very difficult to tell to a man who only speaks for and to himself: Tweeting Donald, who has been blamed of not seeing the rest of the industrial world because he doesn’t see it; that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Besides, there is no question as to the fact that if his will be done of pulling the United States out of NAFTA, it may mean a painful economic blow to his slogan of “Make America Great Again.”