President Donald Trump seems to only make promises so that he can break them. He made many tremendous pledges on the campaign trail, but perhaps none helped him win the presidency quite like his "hire American, buy American" rhetoric.
However, a new study by Good Jobs Nation and Public Citizen's Global Trade reveals that this is most likely another lie to add to Trump's ever-growing list.
Despite promises to punish companies who ship jobs overseas and to usher in an era of "winning" for the American worker, Trump has stayed as cozy with corporations as his detractors expected him to. According to the study, as summarized by Common Dreams, "the flow of federal contract awards to major offshorers has continued unabated since Trump's inauguration."
The analysis details that "56 percent of the top 50 U.S. firms awarded the largest taxpayer-funded contracts in fiscal year (FY) 2016 engage in offshoring." Additionally, of the top 100 federal contractors, 41 have shipped jobs overseas and many continue to do so. In 2016, these companies received a combined $176 billion from taxpayers.
Trump has always shown a penchant for authoritarianism, and during the first 100 days of his presidency he has signed more executive orders than any other president since World War II. Despite his obvious willingness to play boss, he has yet to wield his power on behalf of the Americans who voted for him.
“Our analysis proves that Donald Trump is not fulfilling his signature campaign promises to stop offshoring and bring back American jobs," said Joseph Geevarghese, director of Good Jobs Nations to Common Dreams. "Even though he’s signed over 60 executive orders during his first 100 days, he has yet to use the power of the pen to stop corporations that receive taxpayer dollars from shipping American jobs overseas.”
While Trump has not acted to protect American jobs and ensure their growth, lawmakers from all political parties have sought legislative action to combat corporate offshoring.
The End Outsourcing Act, the Outsourcing Prevention Act, and the Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act of 2017 each take steps to turn companies back to their home shore, but there has been no indication from the president that he would support any of these measures. The report notes that without his support they have little chance of passing through the Republican-controlled Congress.
While the United States is a nation of checks and balances, the president has some incredible power at his disposal. One such power is to enact "policies and directives" for federal contracting without using the legislative process.
It is the executive strength that President Barack Obama used to set a minimum wage and President Lyndon Johnson exercised to stop federal contractors from discriminating against their employees based on race or gender.
Trump could channel his authoritarian tendencies for good and demand companies keep jobs in America if they wish to qualify for lucrative federal contracts. For once, he could be tough for the right reasons.