The media loves focusing on President-elect Donald Trump’s rhetoric, but I think it’s time to evaluate him on his results.
Because so far, he’s delivered.
Mr. Trump campaigned on the promise of jobs — that he would bring U.S. industry back to America — and so far, he’s done it. By simply picking up the phone and lobbying Carrier Corp., the company agreed to keep about 1,000 jobs at its Indiana plant instead of moving them to Mexico.
Carrier, which manufactures heating and air-conditioning equipment, had announced plans earlier this year to shift some of its production to Mexico in a cost-cutting effort.
In April, while campaigning in Indiana, Mr. Trump took aim at the company specifically.
“You’re looking at a situation where the jobs are being ripped out of our states, out of our country, like candy from a baby,” he said, lambasting Carrier’s decision. “You’re going to bring it across the border, and we’re going to charge you a 35 percent tax. Now within 24 hours they’re going to call back. ‘Mr. President, we’ve decided to stay. We’re coming back to Indianapolis.’”
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Mr. Trump indicated he was speaking to the company.
“I am working hard, even on Thanksgiving, trying to get Carrier A.C. Company to stay in the U.S. (Indiana). MAKING PROGRESS - Will know soon!,” Mr. Trump tweeted Thursday.
On Tuesday, Carrier posted to its Twitter account that it was “pleased to have reached a deal with President-elect Trump & VP-elect Pence to keep close to 1,000 jobs in Indy. More details soon.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that Carrier would receive new government incentives in exchange for keeping the jobs stateside, although the details are still unknown.
Mr. Trump made similar progress with Ford Motor Company.
Earlier this month, Ford said the car maker wouldn’t move certain production to Mexico, reversing course on its plan to move its Lincoln sport-utility production from Kentucky. Ford never intended to close its Kentucky plant, but its decision to keep the Lincoln SUV production there was more than a symbolic gesture to the incoming president.
“Mr. Ford’s call represented a genuine change in direction for the auto maker, not just a symbolic gesture, according to people close to the executive,” The Journal reported Nov. 18. “The auto maker has been in contact with Mr. Trump’s transition team over the past 10 days, and executives see the Lincoln move as a relatively painless but authentic way to give Mr. Trump a victory even before he moves into the White House.”
The move was more about job preservation than creation, but that’s still a win for the people working at the plant — no matter how much the media wanted to distort it (and they did).
In addition to the job wins, since Mr. Trump became president-elect, the stock market has been soaring, based on the prospect of new infrastructure spending, tax cuts and lower regulations.
Deutsche Bank AG predicts by the time Mr. Trump takes office in January, the S&P 500 Index will eclipse 2,250.
Investors are under-appreciating the “much higher chance now of a long lasting economic expansion that rivals the 10 year U.S. record,” the bank’s chief U.S. equity strategist David Bianco wrote. “We’re more confident now that the S&P will reach 2,500 in 2018 before suffering its next bear market.”
That’s good news to anyone who has a 401(k) or investments in the stock market.
In regards to NAFTA, both Canada and Mexico have indicated their ready to renegotiate the trade bill. On Nov. 10, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was important his country be open and willing to renegotiate, saying he “was more than happy to talk about it.”
Similarly Mexico said it was willing to open up the two-decade-old trade deal.
“We’re at the stage of prioritizing dialogue as the path through which we may able to establish a new agenda for bilateral relations,” Mexican President Pena Nieto said Nov. 19. “More than talking about renegotiating NAFTA, it’s modernizing NAFTA. Let’s modernize NAFTA so it becomes a more powerful, modern vehicle.”
So let’s get this straight. I don’t care about Mr. Trump’s tweets about burning the American flag, or election fraud. No one outside the Washington beltway or Manhattan does.
What his supporters do care about is Mr. Trump delivering on his promises — and so far, he’s exceeded expectations.