Trump is making false claims about his record in struggling states like Ohio and Michigan. The jobs haven’t come back. They’ve been offshored to China.
In manufacturing-heavy Ohio, Trump’s tit-for-tat tariff battle with China was a major factor in the drop in annual job growth from 36,200 in 2016 to 3,700 in 2019, according to a new report I co-authored. Average weekly earnings for Ohio manufacturing workers also declined during this period.
But Trump also bears personal responsibility for encouraging offshoring because of the corporate tax cuts he pushed through Congress in 2017. U.S.-based companies no longer owe Uncle Sam anything on offshore profits up to a certain threshold. Above that level, they owe a federal tax rate that’s just half of what they’d pay for domestic profits.
As a result, corporations can save on their IRS bills by shipping jobs overseas. Big companies like General Motors took their tax break and then shipped thousands of jobs out of Ohio, Michigan, and other states.