Economists say the bottom line beats presidential callouts for manufacturers
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President Trump’s practice of calling out major U.S. corporations to publicly pressure them to keep jobs in the U.S. has been well publicized since the 2016 election campaign. Trump has in the past, for example, criticized the air conditioning company Carrier for plans to move jobs to Mexico. He then took credit when the company agreed to a plan enhanced by state tax breaks to keep a thousand jobs in Indiana. He’s also put pressure on Ford, GM and Toyota over U.S. jobs. But turns out some of those companies are still planning domestic manufacturing layoffs and going ahead with plans to make products in Mexico and China. Economists say that’s because as much as publicly traded companies try to avoid negative PR, their strategic decisions are driven most by economic pressures, such as international tax rates, production and labor costs, and the profit expectations of shareholders.
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