Back in June, President Barack Obama derided President-elect Donald Trump’s ability to do anything for the Carrier Corp. employees who were slated to lose their jobs. In the wake of Carrier announcing it would shift production from Indiana to Mexico, the president indicated that jobs leaving Indiana were part of a trend that could not be reversed.
During a PBS-hosted Town Hall in June of this year, Obama told a Carrier employee that it would require a “magic… https://t.co/8olPGNwDFa
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In February, Trump had criticized Carrier’s plan to shut the plant and move jobs to Mexico, threatening that if he were elected and the company followed through, he would seek to impose taxes on products Carrier made in Mexico and sold in the United States.
Trump’s comments about Carrier were rebutted by Obama during a June 1 town hall in Indianapolis, during which Carrier employee Eric Cottonham asked Obama, “what can we look forward to in the future as far as jobs, employment, whatever? Because all of our jobs have left or in the process of leaving, sir.”
Obama offered a contradiction, first noting that under his administration, “we’ve seen more manufacturing jobs created since I’ve been president than anytime since the 1990s. He then added, “even though we’re making the same amount of stuff in our manufacturing sector, we’re employing fewer people.”
He then spoke about the jobs heading to Mexico, saying that the jobs leaving were never again going to be part of the American economic landscape.
“What we have to do is to make sure that folks are trained for the jobs that are coming in now because some of those jobs of the past are just not going to come back,” he said.
Obama then focused on Trump and Trump’s long-stated position that he would bring jobs back to America.
” … when somebody says, like the person you just mentioned who I’m not going to advertise for, that he’s going to bring all these jobs back, well how exactly are you going to do that? What are you going to do?”
“There’s — there’s no answer to it,” Obama said.
Obama then argued that Trump does not know how to retain jobs in the country.
“He just says, ‘Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.’ Well, how — what — how exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have? And usually, the answer is he doesn’t have an answer,” Obama said.
The president later told the audience they would have to learn to live with the loss.
” … you cannot look backwards, and that doesn’t make folks feel good sometimes, especially if it’s a town that was reliant on a couple of big manufacturers,” he said. “But they’re going to have to retrain for the jobs of the future, not the jobs of the past.”
On Thursday, Trump and Vice president-elect Mike Pence were scheduled to join Carrier officials in announcing that most of the nearly 1,000 jobs scheduled to be lost will remain in Indianapolis.