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Thorner: Can Trump bring jobs back to US, or will labor shortages block the dream?



US Manufacturers are having a difficult time finding team members

By Nancy Thorner - 

On Tuesday, February 13, 2018, an eye-opening view of what President Trump faces took place when in a public meeting with members of Congress, the Cabinet and Trump and Pence called to deal with Trade, Infrastructure & Technology.  A transcript of the meeting can be found here.

The meeting was scheduled as Trump is considering whether to proceed with limiting imports of steel and aluminum for national security reasons.The Commerce Department last month completed the pair of Section 232 investigations and sent the reports to the White House. Trump has about two months left to decide whether and how to proceed with tariffs, quotas or a combination of both.

The meeting was a listening session during which lawmakers were permitted to air their concerns and priorities to the administration. During the meeting President Trump listened to bipartisan members of Congress having a spectrum of opinions on trade matters.  For the President the meeting was part of his commitment to ensure fair and reciprocal trade policies that support not only the American worker but will also grow the American economy.

The delegation of lawmakers that attended were members largely from steel-producing states and included Ohio’s delegation of Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman and two leaders of the Congressional Steel Caucus: Reps. Mike Bost (R-Ill.) and Rick Crawford (R-Ark.). Trump officials attending were U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

During the listening session Republican lawmakers in attendance, one-by-one, took the bait and fully exposed themselves. Taking turns telling POTUS to quit trying to save American high-wage jobs, drop the national economic view, and just accept multinational corporate globalism were Lamar Alexander, Mike Lee, Pat Toomey and Roy Blunt, in what amounted to a full-throated establishment display of their disagreement with Trump's America First philosophy.

Even so, it was Republican Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin who really went the full distance with these remarks:

“In Wisconsin, a big manufacturing state, in seven years I have not visited one manufacturer that could hire enough people. That was certainly my experience in the last 20, 25 years. For a host of reasons, we tell our kids you have to get a four-year degree. We pay people not to work. So we do need to be concerned about, in such a tight labor market, do we have enough workers in manufacturing. So my final point is, it makes no sense for me to try and bring back high labor-content manufacturing to America. We need to do the value-added things. And so I would just say, proceed with real caution there.”

“Most people are becoming increasingly aware of the Republican agenda to keep the interests of multinational corporations at the top of their priority list; however, it is still rather remarkable to listen to an entire room of them admit, openly, their agenda is to work against the U.S. middle-class, support mass immigration, and keep the U.S. economy on the “service-driven” path.”

Might it be better for Senator Johnson to look to his own backyard?  Johnson will have little help from D.C. now that Priebus is no longer in D.C, Paul Ryan has hinted about retiring, and Scott Walker has a 50% disapproval rating.  

Many Wisconsin Trump voters are tired of supporting every freeloader on welfare of some sort (including “higher” education that just dispenses politically correct propaganda rather than life skills for success), while they slave away for relatively low wages in Johnson's factories.

It's insane for us to depend on China to produce goods critical for our national defense. There is also a limit to how much we can trust Mexico and Canada which are increasingly run by left wing presidents.

Instead of grandstanding by attacking Roy Moore, asking for more H1-B wage slaves, and supporting more boondoggles with the latest budget agreement, Johnson should be applauding Trump's education and welfare initiatives that will generate the workers he claims he can't get. But like most, Senator Johnson thinks all he needs is Bezos' money.

Senator Johnson is a symbol of everything that is wrong in today's Republican Party.  


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  1. Those brought in under HB-1 visas many times take the place of American workers. There have been many reports where American workers had to train the workers brought in to take over their own jobs,for which the imported workers were paid less than what the American workers had been receiving to perform the same jobs.

  2. As to my remark, “Senator Johnson is a symbol of everything that is wrong in today’s Republican Party,” for those who might disagree with my conclusion, what does Senator Johnson intend to do about the drug culture?
    Johnson should support Trump in trying to get people off drugs by tying work into welfare and food into food stamps instead of drugs.
    Johnson’s support should likewise extend to Trump’s attempts to reform schools and vocational training schools so people actually get educated and are not on welfare or $100,000 in debt after learning nothing but propaganda at a liberal college?
    Lastly, how abut a tax incentive to hire “problem” workers instead of more H1-B slaves like Johnson wants? Drug companies that push legal drugs like opioids can at least not be tax subsidized through Medicaid. But again, Johnson would have to buck his drug company contributors on that one. Better to bash Trump or Roy Moore.

  3. WE have plenty of labor in this country. All other talk is by the open borders and cheap labor groups.
    However, there needs to be more specific vocational training and realistic training that reflect real job needs. Less people going to four year colleges and more high level, demanding vocational training.