President Donald Trump is sticking to his distorted picture of the consequences of his trade war with China, refusing to acknowledge the U.S. is feeling any pain.
His remarks at a rally in North Carolina on Monday night revisited many of his familiar fabrications and exaggerations. A sampling:
TRUMP on China’s economy: “They’ve had now the worst year in 57 years.”
THE FACTS: That’s not true. China is far from the impoverished disaster of a half century ago, when it was reeling from the massive famine caused by Mao Zedong’s radical economic policies and heading into the chaos of the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s.
China’s economy is indeed slowing from Trump’s taxes on Chinese imports, as well as its own campaign to constrain runaway debt. The International Monetary Fund expects the Chinese economy to grow 6.2% this year. That’s the slowest growth for China in nearly 30 years. But it’s still markedly faster than U.S. growth.
And since overhauling its economy in the late 1970s, China has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, established a growing middle class and surpassed Japan to become the world’s second-biggest economy.
TRUMP: “Hundreds of billions of dollars have been and are coming into our country in the form of tariffs, and China is eating the cost.”
THE FACTS: Americans are also eating the cost.
As he escalates a trade war with China, Trump refuses to recognize that tariffs are mainly, if not entirely, paid by companies and consumers in the country that imposes them.
In a study in May , the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, with Princeton and Columbia universities, estimated that tariffs from Trump’s trade dispute with China were costing $831 per U.S. household on an annual basis, before tariffs were recently escalated. Analysts also found that the burden of Trump’s tariffs falls entirely on U.S. consumers and businesses that buy imported products.
A report last month by JPMorgan Chase estimated that tariffs would cost the average American household $1,000 per year if tariffs on an additional $300 billion of U.S. imports from China proceed in September and December. Trump has since bumped up the scheduled levies even higher, probably adding to the U.S. burden.
TRUMP: “We passed the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in American history.”
THE FACTS: His tax cuts are nowhere close to the biggest in U.S. history.
It’s a $1.5 trillion tax cut over 10 years. As a share of the total economy, a tax cut of that size ranks 12th, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 cut is the biggest, followed by the 1945 rollback of taxes that financed World War II.
Post-Reagan tax cuts also stand among the historically significant: President George W. Bush’s cuts in the early 2000s and President Barack Obama’s renewal of them a decade later.
TRUMP: “More Americans are working today than ever before in the history of our country.”
THE FACTS: He’s correct, but that’s driven by population growth. A more relevant measure is the proportion of Americans with jobs, and that is still below record highs.
According to Labor Department data , 60.9% of people in the United States 16 years and older were working in August. That’s below the all-time high of 64.7% in April 2000.
TRUMP: “We passed something they wanted to do for half a century: We passed VA Choice.”
THE FACTS: No, it was President Barack Obama who won passage of the Veterans Choice program, which gives veterans the option to see private doctors outside the VA medical system at government expense. Congress approved the program in 2014, and Obama signed it into law. Trump expanded it.
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President Donald Trump is vowing to have 500 miles of border wall built by the 2020 election. There’s reason to be strongly skeptical about that.
Here’s a look at a sampling of his rhetoric Monday night at a rally in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, and how it compares with the facts:
TRUMP: “The wall is being built as we speak. We’ll have almost 500 miles of wall by the end of next year.”
THE FACTS: It’s unclear how Trump arrives at 500 miles (800 kilometers), but he would have to prevail in legal challenges to his declaration of a national emergency or get Congress to cough up more money to get anywhere close. Those are big assumptions.
So far, the administration has awarded contracts for 244 miles (390 kilometers) of wall construction, but more than half comes from Defense Department money available under Trump’s Feb. 15 emergency declaration. Two judges — in Washington and in San Francisco — are weighing whether to block the administration for tapping those funds.
And nearly all of what Trump has awarded so far is for replacement barriers and fencing, not new miles of wall. Even if Trump prevails in court, all but 14 miles (22 kilometers) of those awarded contracts replace existing barriers.
The White House says it has identified up to $8.1 billion in potential money under the national emergency, mostly from the Defense Department.
Customs and Border Protection officials say the administration wants Congress to finance 206 miles (330 kilometers) next year. The chances of the Democratic-controlled House backing that are between slim and none.
TRUMP claims “the best unemployment numbers in history.”
THE FACTS: The 3.6% unemployment rate in the latest report is not the best in history. It’s the lowest since 1969, when it was 3.5%. The U.S. also had lower rates than now in the early 1950s. And during three years of World War II, the annual rate was under 2%.
TRUMP: “Last year for the first time in 51 years, drug prices went down.”
THE FACTS: Trump continues to ignore an increase in drug prices.
The Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index for prescription drug prices shows an increase of 0.3% in April compared with the same month last year. The index tracks a set of medications, both brand names and generics, and Trump has frequently made his boast since the updated numbers showing higher costs came out.
Other independent studies point to increasing prices for brand-name drugs as well and more overall spending on medications.
An analysis of brand-name drug prices by The Associated Press showed 2,712 price increases in the first half of January, compared with 3,327 increases during the same period last year. However, the size of this year’s increases was not as pronounced.
Both this year and last, the number of price cuts was minuscule. The information for the analysis was provided by the health data firm Elsevier.
An analysis by Altarum, a nonprofit research and consulting firm, found that in 2018, spending on prescription drugs was one of the main factors behind a 4.5% increase in U.S. health spending. Spending on prescription drugs grew much faster than in 2017, according to the study.
Spagat reported from San Diego. Associated Press writer Hope Yen contributed to this report.
Eager to dismiss his critics, President Donald Trump is fabricating the circumstances regarding jobs, the economy and the social safety net.
He insists that Social Security and Medicare are becoming stronger under his watch when the most recent government report shows the financial condition of both programs worsening. On the economy, his claims of spurring the strongest U.S. growth ever fall way short.
The statements were among varied misrepresentations from the White House and in hearings for his Supreme Court nominee, coming in a remarkable week after an anonymous senior official went public about an effort within the administration to thwart his agenda. Trump also faces the special counsel’s continuing Russia investigation, fewer than 60 days before November’s midterm elections.
A look at the rhetoric and how it compares with reality:
MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY
TRUMP: “We’re saving Social Security. The Democrats will destroy Social Security. We’re saving Medicare. The Democrats want to destroy Medicare. …We will keep it going. We’re making it stronger. We’re making Social Security stronger.” — remarks Wednesday.
TRUMP, promoting Montana Republican Matt Rosendale’s Senate campaign: “I’m going to protect your Social Security. We’re going to take care of your Social Security. Matt Rosendale is going to make sure we’re not touching your Social Security and your Medicare is only going one way. That’s stronger.” — Montana rally Thursday.
THE FACTS: Trump hasn’t made Medicare and Social Security stronger.
The government’s annual trustees reports on the programs released in June shows the financial condition of both worsening significantly since last year. The projected insolvency for Social Security stayed unchanged — in 2034 — but Medicare’s moved three years closer, to 2026.
Both programs also will start tapping their reserves this year, meaning that income from payroll taxes and interest earned by the Social Security and Medicare trust funds will no longer cover costs. That threshold was still a few years away in last year’s report. As a result, Social Security and Medicare will need a $416 billion transfer from the government’s general revenues this year, when the federal deficit is already rising.
Last year’s Republican tax bill, which cut taxes on Social Security benefits, helped exacerbate the shortfall. So did the Trump-supported repeal of the individual mandate in so-called Obamacare. The repeal promises to increase the number of people without health insurance and therefore Medicare payments for uncompensated medical care.
Trump campaigned on a promise not to cut Social Security or Medicare, but he hasn’t offered a blueprint for either program. Democrats want to expand the social safety net by spending more.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has argued that tax cuts, rolling back regulations and better trade agreements could boost economic growth and help stabilize Medicare and Social Security. But nonpartisan government experts who produced the annual Social Security assessment didn’t seem to accept that, forecasting “sustained moderate economic growth.”
TRUMP: “‘Ford has abruptly killed a plan to sell a Chinese-made small vehicle in the U.S. because of the prospect of higher U.S. Tariffs.’ CNBC. This is just the beginning. This car can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs!” — tweet Sunday.
THE FACTS: It’s not true that Trump’s taxes on Chinese imports will now mean the Focus Active can be built in the U.S.
Citing Trump’s new tariffs, Ford on Aug. 31 said it was dropping plans to ship the hatchback vehicle to the United States from China.
But Ford said in a statement Sunday “it would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the U.S.,” given forecast yearly sales below 50,000. For now, that means Ford simply won’t sell the vehicle in the United States.
TRUMP: “We are breaking all Jobs and Economic Records.” — tweet Saturday.
TRUMP: “The Economy is booming like never before, Jobs are at Historic Highs.” — tweet Thursday.
THE FACTS: The economy, though healthy, has been in better shape at many times in the past.
Growth reached 4.2 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter. That’s the best in the past four years. So far, the economy is growing at a modest rate compared with previous economic expansions. In the late 1990s, growth topped 4 percent for four straight years, from 1997 through 2000. In the 1980s expansion, growth even reached 7.2 percent in 1984.
The unemployment rate of 3.9 percent is strong but it’s not at the best point ever. It is near an 18-year low. The all-time low came in 1953, when unemployment fell to 2.5 percent during the Korean War. Meanwhile, a greater percentage of Americans held jobs in 2000 than now.
As a whole, the economy is in its 10th year of growth, a recovery that began under President Barack Obama, who inherited the Great Recession. The data show that the falling unemployment rate and gains in home values reflect the duration of the recovery, rather than any major changes made since 2017 by the Trump administration.
TRUMP: “The Dems have tried every trick in the playbook-call me everything under the sun. But if I’m all of those terrible things, how come I beat them so badly, 306-223?” — tweet Saturday.
THE FACTS: For the record, Trump misstates the Electoral College vote in his 2016 presidential race against Democrat Hillary Clinton. The official count was 304 to 227, according to an Associated Press tally of the electoral votes in every state.
Clinton won the popular vote, receiving nearly 2.9 million more votes than Trump after racking up more lopsided victories in big states such as New York and California, according to election data compiled by AP. But she lost the presidency due to Trump’s winning margin in the Electoral College, which came after he narrowly won less populous Midwestern states including Michigan and Wisconsin.
‘FAKE NEWS’ MEDIA
TRUMP: “Isn’t it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost. Don’t know why Washington politicians don’t change libel laws?” — tweet Wednesday.
TRUMP, addressing GOP Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds of South Dakota: “We have lousy libel laws… ‘Hey Mike and John, could you do me a favor? Create some libel laws, that when people say stuff bad about you, you can sue them and if you’re right, you win.’” — remarks Friday at fundraising event in South Dakota.
THE FACTS: He misstates libel law in claiming that someone can “totally make up stories” or freely write “fake news” without penalty.
Under defamation laws, people can bring a lawsuit for slander or libel if they believe someone’s statements have injured their reputation. For public officials such as Trump, they must meet a higher legal bar than ordinary people due to First Amendment guarantees of a free press and show the statements were made with “actual malice.” That means a publication is at risk by acting with reckless disregard for the truth.
Trump often pledges to make it easier for people to sue for defamation, typically after the publication of books or news articles that present an unflattering portrait of the White House. But he has little influence to change the laws.
Libel laws are set at the state level, which the president and Congress do not have authority to change. Any attempt to loosen the laws would likely run afoul of the First Amendment, barring a successful Supreme Court challenge or constitutional amendment.
TRUMP, questioning whether one of his senior officials acted illegally about an administration effort to thwart his agenda: “TREASON?” — tweet Wednesday.
THE FACTS: Not treason. The official who wrote anonymously in The New York Times about the “quiet resistance” against Trump is surely disloyal to the president but not a traitor in the legal sense.
Treason occurs when a U.S. citizen, or a noncitizen on U.S. territory, wages war against the country or provides material support, not just sympathy, to a declared enemy of the United States.
For instance, in the Cold War case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed for giving atomic secrets to Russia, the Rosenbergs were convicted of espionage, not treason, because the U.S. and Russia were not officially at war. No one has been convicted of treason since the aftermath of World War II, few have been through history and no one has been executed for that crime, says Carlton F.W. Larson, a University of California law professor who has a book coming on treason.
In 2006, the Bush administration brought a treason indictment against Adam Gadahn, an American who authorities say became an operative and spokesman for al-Qaida abroad. The Obama administration said he was killed in a 2015 counterterrorism operation in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region.
Treason is addressed in the Constitution as part of an effort by the framers to prevent the government from using it as a reason to suppress political speech, said J. Richard Broughton, associate dean at University of Detroit Mercy and a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association. Congress has little if any power to change the definition and the executive branch can only bring charges in extremely limited cases.
Trump’s opponents have used “treason” loosely as the special counsel investigates contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia, and it is thrown around widely in the public discourse by all sides.
Trump is using the word loosely now.
DEMOCRATIC SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR of Minnesota, asking about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s views on the scope of a president’s executive power: “I’m asking about your position that you stated in this law review article that a president should be not subject to investigations while in office. You’re only saying that they should be subject to investigation as part of an impeachment (proceeding by Congress) and that there’s no other investigation that could occur? Is that fair?” — Senate hearing Wednesday.
KAVANAUGH: “No. … On criminal investigation and prosecution, I did not take a position on the constitutionality. Period.”
THE FACTS: His claim is highly questionable, based on his past writings.
In a 2009 Minnesota Law Review article, Kavanaugh cast doubt on whether a president should be subject to what he described as “time-consuming” criminal investigations, cautioning that it could distract the nation’s chief executive from doing the job. He wrote in a footnote that “a serious constitutional question exists regarding whether a President can be criminally indicted and tried while in office.”
A decade earlier, Kavanaugh wrote that the Constitution seems to dictate that “congressional investigation must take place in lieu of criminal investigation when the President is the subject of investigation, and that criminal prosecution can occur only after the President has left office.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 campaign to tip the election in his favor, and whether Trump obstructed justice such as by firing FBI director James Comey.
DEMOCRATIC SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN of California: “In the 1950s and 60s, the two decades before Roe, deaths from illegal abortions in this country ran between 200,000 and 1.2 million. That’s according to the Guttmacher Institute.” — Senate hearing Wednesday.
THE FACTS: That’s wrong, and she corrected herself Friday. Known deaths from illegal abortion were much smaller. The California senator conflated the estimated number of women who had an illegal abortion with the number who died from it, according to the research she cites.
The Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights, cites estimates in a 2003 report that 200,000 to 1.2 million illegal abortions were performed in the 1950s and 1960s in the U.S. The report says the number of deaths from illegal abortion dropped from just under 1,700 in 1940 to just over 300 by 1950 and a little under 200 by 1965. The Supreme Court established a constitutional right to abortion in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
TRUMP ATTORNEY RUDY GIULIANI, citing a “60 day run-up to 2018 elections”: “If Mueller wants to show he’s not partisan, then issue a report on collusion and obstruction. They will show President Trump did nothing wrong.” — tweet Aug. 25.
THE FACTS: He’s wrong in suggesting there is a 60-day cutoff date before the Nov. 6 midterm elections, which came Friday, for Mueller to wrap up the Russia investigation.
Trump and his allies including Giulani often cite a Justice Department policy on the issue. But in fact, no written policy setting a deadline exists and Mueller can continue the probe and issue new indictments. He also has no time constraints regarding finishing or releasing the findings of his investigation.
The only thing that’s changed is that Labor Day kicked off high election season in the battle for control of the House and Senate. So any action by Mueller between now and the Nov. 6 voting risks being seen as an effort to affect the outcome.
The Justice Department does have guidelines about investigations in advance of an election, which have been interpreted over the past decade to mean that investigators, if possible, should avoid taking specific actions — such as indicting candidates or raiding their office — in the run-up to an election.
“Law enforcement officers and prosecutors may never select the timing of investigative steps or criminal charges for the purpose of affecting any election, or for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party,” one such memo from 2012 states.
But the policy does not impose a specific cutoff date for investigations before an election.
Associated Press writers Paul Wiseman, Christopher Rugaber, Josh Boak, Cal Woodward, Eric Tucker and Laurie Kellman contributed to this report.
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President Donald Trump is taking unjustified credit for recent job gains by black Americans even as he defends himself against claims of racism.
Trump and his administration argue he’s done more to help the economic well-being of minorities than Barack Obama, the country’s first and only black president.
The implication is that Obama struggled to create jobs for his fellow minorities, while Trump has a sterling jobs record.
Trump has also frequently touted that black unemployment is at a record low. But that figure is volatile on a monthly basis. After achieving a record low of 5.9 percent in May, it has since jumped back up to 6.6 percent.
Trump is taking credit he doesn’t deserve for job growth, according to many economists who view the continued growth since the middle of 2009 as the primary explanation for the recent hiring. More important, there are multiple signs that the racial wealth gap is now worsening and the administration appears to have done little, if anything, to specifically address this challenge.
“To identify a single indicator of employment as an indicator of economic health is, at best, incomplete,” said Darrick Hamilton, a professor of economics at the New School in New York City. “It is intentionally deceptive to focus only on that indicator.”
Government data show troubling economic disparities for black Americans:
— The median net worth of a black household is just $17,200, according to the Federal Reserve. The median net worth of a white household is 10 times higher. Back in 2004, the median net worth for whites was only seven times higher.
— The homeownership rate for black Americans has fallen since Trump became president to 41.6 percent, according to the Census Bureau. The gap between white homeownership and black homeownership is now the widest since 1995.
— Census figures show the average income for a black college graduate is $64,486, about $13,000 less than what a white college graduate earns.
— The average student debt for someone who is black is $32,047, almost double the average for someone who is white, according to a 2016 study by the Urban Institute.
Hamilton has examined Trump’s $1.5 trillion worth of tax cuts over the next decade. While deficit-financed cuts might boost growth in the near-term, Hamilton found that the changes engineered to the tax code by the administration could worsen the racial wealth gap.
In a report released in May by the liberal Roosevelt Institute, he said the new tax law primarily helps high-income households and rewards people with existing wealth. He said it could increase local fees and fines that are generally a burden on minorities, and the loss of tax revenues could lead to layoffs for public employees, who are disproportionately black.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders initially quoted false job figures on Tuesday to make the case that Trump was helping minorities.
Her statement came as the White House faces heat for Trump’s racially divisive comments about former White House aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman, NFL players, basketball star LeBron James, immigrants and even Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, whose grandfather was born into slavery. Trump’s approval rating with black Americans is a lowly 13 percent, according to the polling firm Gallup.
Sanders initially said Obama had only added 195,000 jobs for black Americans during his tenure compared with Trump’s 700,000 new jobs in just two years. The U.S. economy actually added about 3 million jobs for black workers during Obama’s tenure, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But after a cursory apology and correction on Twitter, the administration doubled down on its claims by stripping the jobs figures of one crucial piece of context: Obama inherited an economy in the worst tailspin since the Great Depression began in 1929, while Trump came into office after seven years of economic growth.
Aaron Sojourner, a professor of economics at the University of Minnesota and a former senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers for Obama and Trump, said this context was the key difference between the two presidents’ records.
“The administration was born on third base and wants to make us think they hit a triple,” he said.
Associated Press writer Anne Flaherty contributed to this report.
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Steelworkers in Granite City, Illinois, threw a street party — complete with hot dogs, cold beer and a singer in red, white and blue — when U.S. Steel announced earlier this year it was bringing hundreds of laid-off employees back to work at the local mill.
On Thursday they’ll celebrate again, this time with President Donald Trump.
U.S. Steel credited Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum when the company announced in March it was firing up a furnace at Granite City Works that had been idled for more than two years. Since then, Trump has pointed to the community east of St. Louis as an example of how his “America First” approach to trade will help U.S. workers — a case he’ll make again Thursday before a crowd of employees and local residents who say this steel town has come alive again.
“Our community is excited to have the president come, and we’re especially excited to see jobs coming back to Granite City,” said James Amos, the city’s economic development director. “To have the president of the United States visit your city feels like, maybe, icing on the cake.”
But not everyone is in a partying mood. Others in Illinois and the Midwest, from farmers to manufacturers and technology companies, warn a global trade war and retaliatory tariffs from countries such as China, Mexico and Canada are causing job losses. The new tariffs threaten more than $3.8 billion in Illinois exports, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says, and major Illinois-based companies including Caterpillar and Boeing already have been negatively affected.
“While we’re happy Granite City has those jobs coming back, it’s a lot harder to see the jobs that are lost or not created in the rest of the state because of the tariffs,” said Illinois Chamber of Commerce President Todd Maisch. He described the administration’s policies as “really negative” for most of Illinois, the nation’s fifth-largest economy.
Richard Guebert, a farmer and president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, said he told Vice President Mike Pence during a meeting last week that there’s “a lot of angst” among farmers after several tough years and with another strong crop likely to lower prices this year. He worries particularly about whether young farmers will be able to keep going in a state where one of every four rows of soybeans is exported to China.
“Older, more seasoned farmers have a better asset base. They can weather storms like this,” Guebert said. “The young farmers are having a definite challenge.”
A $12 billion aid package the administration announced Tuesday to help farmers hurt by the trade disputes is “a start,” Guebert said, but “won’t make farmers whole in the face of continued trade tensions.”
Factories around the region also have been hurt. Mid Continent Nail Corp. in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, has shuttered a multimillion-dollar plant and is “on the brink of extinction.”
The company, which says it’s the nation’s largest nail manufacturer, employed 510 workers before Trump raised tariffs on June 1 but has since slashed its workforce to 370, spokesman James Glassman said. The tariffs led to a big jump in the price of steel wire, the raw material Mid Continent imports from Mexico to make nails. When Mid Continent raised its prices 25 percent, customers turned to cheaper foreign-made nails.
“This is a county that went 79 percent for Trump so people are certainly willing to give him the benefit of the doubt,” Glassman said. “But their jobs are at stake because of this misguided tariff.”
Trump will travel to Granite City with Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, whose southern Illinois district includes the steel mill as well as many farmers. The seat is one of Democrats’ top targets as they look to regain control of the House this fall.
Bost, who’s being challenged by St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, could get a boost from the Trump visit. While Illinois went heavily for Hillary Clinton in 2016 thanks to large support from the Chicago area, most of Southern Illinois backed Trump.
The more than 2,000 workers laid off from Granite City Works got the notice just before Thanksgiving 2015. U.S. Steel cited low oil prices — because the mill produces steel for oil refineries and the auto industry — as well as the availability of cheap, imported steel.
Granite City Works is now near its 2015 employment level of 2,100, with a second blast furnace to be operating by this fall. Jobs there mean dozens more at steel-processing plants throughout the city that bend or cut or coat or reshape the raw product, Amos said.
“There’s no question we’re thankful for what’s happened and we’re not afraid to say that the president and Congressman Bost did something we’re thankful for,” he said.
Associated Press reporters John O’Connor in Springfield, Illinois, and Jim Salter in St. Louis contributed. Burnett reported from Chicago.
More than 300 Carrier Corp. workers were being laid off Thursday from the company’s Indianapolis factory as part of an outsourcing of jobs to Mexico that drew criticism last year from then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The nearly 340 workers clocked out after their final shifts at Carrier’s gas furnace factory. Another wave of 290 workers will be let go by Dec. 22 under a timetable the company announced in late May.
Carrier announced in February 2016 that it would close the Indianapolis plant and cut about 1,400 production jobs in a move expected to save $65 million annually by moving furnace production to Mexico.
Trump repeatedly criticized Carrier’s Mexico outsourcing plan. Weeks after Trump won the election, Carrier announced an agreement brokered by the president-elect to spare about 800 jobs in Indianapolis, where the company has pledged to keep nearly 1,100 jobs.
But some 600 jobs are still being eliminated by the outsourcing.
Although Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, the former Indiana governor, have been credited with saving Carrier’s Indianapolis factory, employees don’t have a sense of much job security, said Robert James, president of United Steel Workers Local 1999, which represents plant workers.
“They just don’t have any faith in this plant staying in Indianapolis,” he told The Indianapolis Star. “There’s just too much uncertainty.”
The Indiana Economic Development Board in March approved an incentive package that includes directing $7 million in state tax breaks and grants over 10 years to the company. As part of that deal, Carrier is investing $16 million for automation at the Indianapolis plant.
The company’s CEO has said that will ultimately mean fewer jobs at the factory.
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President-elect Donald Trump applauded the return of 8,000 jobs to the U.S. and hailed his transition discussions with President Barack Obama in a series of comments that amounted to the most detailed interaction he’s had with journalists since before the election.
In one of his cameos Wednesday on the front steps of his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump touted plans by a Japanese mogul to bring jobs to the United States. They could be the first of the 50,000 jobs that tech billionaire Masayoshi Son promised to create after meeting with the president-elect earlier in December.
In the grand scheme of the economy, the jobs announcement is unlikely to have a major impact. Still, it’s another example of how Trump is trying to stoke voters’ belief that he is actively fighting for their well-being.
Son is the founder and chief executive of SoftBank, one of Japan’s largest technology outfits. He owns the U.S. mobile carrier Sprint, which Trump said Wednesday would be moving 5,000 jobs “back” to the United States. Son also controls OneWeb, which Trump said would hire 3,000 workers.
It was unclear whether the president-elect was referencing the Dec. 6 commitment by Son to invest $50 billion in the United States and create 50,000 jobs.
Trump said the addition of 8,000 jobs was “because of what’s happening and the spirit and the hope.”
Still, the U.S. job market has been robust for much of 2016. Employers have added more than 2.2 million jobs over the past 12 months — a sign of economic health that predates Trump’s presidential victory.
Sprint has struggled since its 2013 acquisition by SoftBank. The carrier shed roughly 9,000 workers between 2012 and 2016, reducing its staff to 30,000, according to annual reports.
Sprint Chief Executive Marcelo Claure said in a statement that the company is “excited” to work with Trump.
“We believe it is critical for business and government to partner together to create more job opportunities in the U.S. and ensure prosperity for all Americans,” Claure said.
The Sprint jobs announcement came after tensions rose and fell Wednesday between Trump and Obama. Trump has made it clear that it didn’t sit well with him when Obama recently boasted that he would have won the election if he’d been running.
Trump appeared again later Wednesday night on the Mar-a-Lago steps, this time alongside legendary boxing entrepreneur Don King, who appeared to be one of several guests attending a dinner party. King carried about a dozen flags, including those of the U.S. and Israel; wore two big diamond necklaces, one with a pendant with the Star of David and another with the American flag; and sported a large pin featuring a picture of Trump.
With King by his side, Trump dismissed days of tense remarks by the outgoing and incoming presidents about who would win if they were to hypothetically run against each other, saying he and Obama had “a very, very good talk.”
“We talked about it and smiled about it and nobody is ever going to know because we are never going to be going against each other,” Trump said.
Earlier, he had accused Obama of throwing up “inflammatory” roadblocks during the transition of power and said his administration was treating Israel with “total disdain.”
White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Obama phoned Trump. “Today’s call, like the others since the election, was positive and focused on continuing a smooth and effective transition,” Schultz said. “The president and president-elect committed to staying in touch over the next several weeks.”
Trump also took issue with the Obama administration’s decision not to block a United Nations Security Council resolution critical of Israeli settlements.
He told reporters that Israel is being treated “very, very unfairly,” maintaining that countries that are “horrible places” never get reprimanded. He refused to directly answer a question about whether Israel should stop building settlements, saying he is “very, very strong on Israel.”
He dodged a direct response when asked about accusations that Russia hacked the U.S. election, saying computers have “complicated lives very greatly.”
“We don’t have the kind of security we need,” Trump said, adding, “Nobody knows what’s going on.” He said he believes “we have to get on with our lives.”
Boak reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Cal Woodward in Washington, Josh Lederman in Honolulu and Julie Pace in Buffalo, New York, contributed to this report.
President-elect Donald Trump didn’t take off all of Thanksgiving Day while enjoying a long holiday weekend with his family at his Mar-a-Lago estate, saying he was working to keep the makers of Carrier air conditioners from relocating from Indianapolis to Mexico.
Meanwhile, his transition team was stepping up its effort to raise money for inaugural festivities and Trump offered a holiday prayer for a politically divided nation, even as a controversy swirled around his consideration of onetime fierce critic Mitt Romney for his Cabinet.
After Thanksgiving Day, Trump and his transition team are expected to turn their attention back to building his administration. Two possible appointments loom: retired neurosurgeon and former presidential candidate Ben Carson as secretary of housing and urban development and billionaire investor Wilbur Ross Jr. as commerce secretary. But a top aide was thinking aloud about this on Thursday, seeming to highlight opposition among some Trump supporters to Romney’s selection as secretary of state.
In a pair of posts on her verified Twitter account @kellyannePolls Thursday, Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway noted that she had been “receiving a deluge of social media & private concerns re Romney Some Trump loyalists war against Romney as sec of state.”
The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee had vehemently opposed Trump’s nomination during the primary season, assailing the billionaire as a “phony.”
In a second Twitter post, Conway referred to former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, both Cabinet officers in previous Republican administrations, as men who “flew around the world less, counseled POTUS (president of the United States) close to home more. And were loyal. Good checklist.”
The most recent Trump Cabinet-level picks to be announced were South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and charter school advocate Betsy DeVos to lead the Education Department.
Trump talked of saving jobs on Thanksgiving in his own tweet.
During the presidential campaign he often cited Carrier’s decision last February to relocate some 1,400 jobs to its plant in Mexico as an example of jobs leaving the country — and how he as president would slap a tax on any units manufactured in Mexico and sold in the U.S.
“I am working hard, even on Thanksgiving, trying to get Carrier A.C. Company to stay in the U.S.,” Trump tweeted on Thursday. “MAKING PROGRESS – Will know soon!”
The company confirmed Thursday that it had discussed the move with the incoming administration but that there was nothing to announce.
Putting on inaugural balls and other festivities surrounding the Jan. 20 event will cost millions, and incoming presidents turn to supporters to foot the bill but try not to begin their administrations appearing beholden to donors.
In Trump’s case, he has set $1 million donation limits for corporations and no limits for individual donors, according to an official on the Presidential Inaugural Committee with direct knowledge of tentative fundraising plans. The official was not authorized to disclose private deliberations by name and requested anonymity.
At the same time, Trump’s inaugural committee will not accept money from registered lobbyists, in line with his ban on hiring lobbyists for his nascent administration.
Barack Obama set stricter limits on donations for his first inauguration, in 2009, holding individual donors to $50,000 each and taking no money from corporations or labor unions, as well as none from lobbyists and some other groups. Plenty of corporate executives, though, gave individually and often at the maximum amount. And he opened the spigots for his 2013 inauguration, setting no limits on corporate or individual donations.
On the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday, the president-elect offered a prayer for unity after “a long and bruising” campaign season.
“Emotions are raw and tensions just don’t heal overnight,” Trump said in a video message on social media. He added, “It’s my prayer that on this Thanksgiving we begin to heal our divisions and move forward as one country strengthened by shared purpose and very, very common resolve.”
Young adults are more likely to trust Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump on handling wages, income inequality and personal finances, but they’re divided on which candidate would better handle job creation, a new GenForward poll shows.
Young Hispanics, blacks and Asian-Americans favor Clinton on all four economic issues, but young whites are more likely to favor Trump on both job creation and their personal finances.
GenForward is a survey of adults age 18 to 30 by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The first-of-its-kind poll pays special attention to the voices of young adults of color, highlighting how race and ethnicity shape the opinions of a new generation.
Things to know about what young people think about the economy and the presidential campaign:
CLINTON PREFERRED ON INCOME INEQUALITY
The GenForward poll shows that young adults under 30 are more likely by a 29 percentage point margin to say they trust Clinton than Trump to handle income inequality, a major element of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ primary campaign earlier this year that received overwhelming support from young people. That preference crosses racial and ethnic lines, with young African-Americans saying Clinton would be better on income inequality by a 50-point margin, Asian-Americans by a 43-point margin, Latinos by a 39-point margin and whites by an 18-point margin.
Most young adults say efforts to reduce income inequality have not gone far enough over the last eight years.
Young people from each racial and ethnic background are also more likely to say Clinton than Trump can best handle increasing wages, by 22 points overall: 10 points among whites, 33 points among Latinos, 35 points among Asian-Americans and 46 points among African-Americans.
YOUNG WHITES CONFLICTED
Young Americans are divided over who would better handle job creation. Overall, they are split nearly evenly, with 36 percent saying they think Clinton could better handle the issue and 35 percent saying Trump could. But young whites are 20 points more likely to say Trump could better handle job creation than Clinton. Young Asian-Americans and Latinos are more apt to trust Clinton than Trump by about the same margin, while young blacks prefer the Democrat over the Republican by 45 points.
A similar divide emerges on which candidate young people trust more to improve their personal financial situation. Overall, young people are more likely to trust Clinton than Trump, 32 percent to 23 percent. But while young African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Latinos are significantly more likely to trust the Democratic nominee, young whites are slightly more likely to trust the Republican, 32 percent to 25 percent.
Three in 10 young adults, including similar percentages across racial and ethnic lines, say they trust neither candidate on improving their personal financial situation.
The results reflect overall support for the two candidates. While young people of color are much more likely to say they’re supporting Clinton than Trump in the presidential race, young whites are about equally divided between support for Trump and Clinton. That’s not a new development — exit polls show that young whites were more likely to support Republican Mitt Romney than Democrat Barack Obama four years ago.
Young people are largely united on which economic issues they want to hear the presidential candidates talking about. When asked to choose which issues they found most important, top issues included reducing student debt (32 percent), increasing job growth (30 percent), increasing wages to keep up with the cost of living (28 percent) and reducing the gap between rich and poor (26 percent).
About three-in-10 young blacks and Latinos, but only about half as many whites and Asian-Americans, said raising the minimum wage was among their top issues.
Young whites were especially likely to say protecting the future of Social Security is among their top economic issues, at 26 percent.
The poll of 1,851 adults age 18-30 was conducted Sept. 1-14 using a sample drawn from the probability-based GenForward panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. young adult population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.
The survey was paid for by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago, using grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone.
The world’s biggest oil companies are slashing jobs and backing off major investments as the price of crude falls to new lows — and there may be more pain to come.
Companies like BP, which said Tuesday it is cutting 4,000 jobs, are slimming down to cope with the slump in oil, whose price has plummeted to its lowest level in 12 years and is not expected to recover significantly for months, possibly years. California-based Chevron said last fall that it would eliminate 7,000 jobs, while rival Shell announced 6,500 layoffs.
And it’s not even the big producers that will be affected most, but the numerous companies that do business with them, such as drilling contractors and equipment suppliers.
While plummeting oil prices have been great news for motorists, airlines and other businesses that rely heavily on fuel, some 95,000 jobs were lost in the energy sector by U.S.-based companies in 2015, according to the consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That was up from 14,000 the year before.
Energy companies expanded as oil topped $100 a barrel in 2008 and stayed there during the early part of this decade, but prices have plunged over the past two years because of high supply and weakening demand
The start of a new year hasn’t helped matters, with Brent crude, the benchmark for internationally produced oil, slipping below $31 a barrel on Tuesday, a drop of about 20 percent drop since Jan. 1 and the lowest since 2004.
With some analysts forecasting a drop near $10 a barrel, companies are bracing for more trouble.
“Calling the bottom in a market is always a dangerous practice, akin to catching a falling knife,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. “But when the clamor for lower prices becomes a stampede, warning signs and alarm bells tend to start going off, which suggests that a more prudent approach might be advisable.”
The uncertainty is making companies think twice before sinking money into new oil projects. That’s a problem, since even the most modest project requires vast commitments of resources over a number of years. If the industry doesn’t invest in production, that could create supply problems down the line.
On the North Sea, “there is a standstill in the new project launches which may create a hole in the pipeline of projects next year,” said Florent Maisonneuve, managing director and co-head of Oil & Gas at AlixPartners in Paris.
Weakening demand in China, the world’s second-largest energy consumer, has helped drive the price down. So has a stronger U.S. dollar, which makes oil more expensive for buyers outside the United States.
Members of OPEC, meanwhile, are refusing to cut back on production for fear of losing their share of the market to non-members like the U.S. and Russia. And OPEC states Iran and Iraq, whose industries have been off line for years because of conflict and sanctions, are looking to start pumping more.
All this means prices are unlikely to bounce back soon.
“The companies are doing the best they can to survive as long as they can,” said Spencer Welch, an oil expert at analysis group IHS. “We don’t see a quick out.”
In the United States, the Energy Department said Tuesday that it expects U.S. crude to average $38.54 a barrel in 2016. Fadel Gheit, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co., said as many as half of the independent drilling companies working in U.S. shale fields could go bankrupt before prices stabilize.
In countries where oil production is state-owned and the main source of economic wealth, the drop in price is particularly painful. Russia, Venezuela and Gulf states like Saudi Arabia are seeing state coffers empty at an alarming pace, forcing them to make cost cuts that affect the wider population.
Russia has based its budget this year on an average oil price of $50 per barrel, and the government has indicated it is prepared to make spending cuts across the board to deal with the slump. The economy already is sliding into recession.
Russia also warned last month that it will probably deplete a rainy day fund, now worth roughly $52 billion, by the end of 2016 to make up for losses caused by the drop in oil prices.
Among the Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman are reducing subsidies on gasoline. In Bahrain, gas prices at the pump rose by as much as 60 percent on Tuesday.
The financial outlook is so uncertain that Saudi Arabia is considering selling a part of its state-owned oil company, the world’s largest producer, in a public offering.
Welch said that with the oil market oversupplied, it may not be until the third quarter of this year before things come into balance.
BP said Tuesday it made its job cuts in light of “toughening conditions” in the industry. The cuts will include some 600 jobs in the North Sea.