"Big Steel opens and renovates factories across the country. The car companies lean into the United States, including BMW, just announcing a big new plant. The United States is flourishing!" Said the president this week.
Well, maybe. But it's hard to tell definitely because it turns out that offshoring and "reshoring", as the opposite effect of bringing jobs back to a country, is known – is extremely difficult to measure with precision.
The answer applies as Democrats to oppose Trump's recently signed compensation for the North American Free Trade Agreement – and as he engages in a slow dance with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, as well as European leaders over a number of trade issues at the G20 summit in Argentina .
What we know is: Production has jumped since the depths of the recession, with employment from 11.5 million jobs in 2010 to almost 12.8 million today. This happened for a number of reasons, including the increase of oil and gas fragmentation, which provides cheap energy and a number of unemployed who were willing to accept lower pay jobs. Employers also face greater risk in long global supply chains, and have moved to an "just-in-time" production strategy that enables resellers to react quickly to changing customer needs if their plants are on American soil.
"It's still a two-way channel," said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, supported by United Steelworkers Union and Manufacturers. "We still have production who leave the United States, but you also see some resistance."
It is a data source that specifically measures offshoring: Trade Adjustment Assistance, a federal subsidy that since 1975 has been available to workers who lose jobs when companies move abroad or only reduce production due to competition from cheaper imports. Use of the program spelled during the recession, and then retreated to more normal levels.
However, it is still not a perfect measure, as it is also affected by how generous funding the program is and how willing states are to certify applications. It is not very useful for real-time measurement, since application data is added with a delay. Moreover, it misses more gradual operation of production to other countries.
Other companies have nevertheless quoted change in demand patterns. For example, United Technologies unites operations at its Chula Vista, California airline as it purchased in 2012, resulting in a loss of more than 300 jobs. The company says that the aircraft components that were produced there since the 1950s simply did not sell anymore.
"We have not found anything that's possible at that location," said Stacey MacNeil, communications director for UTC Aerospace Systems, the division that runs the plant.
The trade union representing these workers says it's hard to believe that a plant that once had employed more than 10,000 workers could shrink to almost nothing in three decades, while the Mexican aviation industry slowed down.
"Companies do this all the time," says Owen Herrnstadt, Chief of Staff at the International Association of Machinists. "Outsourcing work, investing elsewhere, do some work on programs that end – and then shut down, says the program ended, instead of investing in the American factory initially, which could keep US workers employed on new programs."  Ohio Senator: Trump said he wants to help & # 39; mid-closing of GM plants "data-src-mini =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181129080327-sen-sherrod-brown-11-29-01-small-169.jpg "data -src-xsmall = "// cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181129080327-sen-sherrod-brown-11-29-01-medium-plus-169.jpg" data-src-small = "http : //cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181129080327-sen-sherrod-brown-11-29-01-large-169.jpg "data-src-medium =" // cdn.cnn.com/ cnnnext / dam / assets / 181129080327-sen-sherrod-brown-11-29-01-exlarge-169.jpg "data-src-large =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181129080327-sen -sherrod-brown-11-29-01-super-169.jpg "data-src-full16x9 =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181129080327-sen-sherrod-brown-11-29- 01-full-169.jpg "data-src-mini1x1 =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181129080327-sen-sherrod-brown-11-29-01-small-11.jpg "data -demand-load = "not-loaded" data-eq-pts = "mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781" src = "data: image / gif; base64, R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP / ////// wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI + py + 0Po5yUFQA7 "/>