President Donald Trump’s “Hire American” economic policy is forcing companies to pay higher wages as well as purchase the labor-saving machinery which allows Americans to produce more value in less time. According to the Wall Street Journal, Republic Wire Inc. has gone on a hiring spree in West Chester, Ohio because of the high product demand. Over five years, the company that produces the wire has increased its team by 50% to 140 people. Automated machines have freed up some of the employees by using the machines to box and label wire.
This method of boosting productivity differs greatly from what President Barack Obama was doing while he was in office. Obama allowed a record number of legal migrants into the country as well as embraced free trade deals which allowed companies to move jobs overseas so they could hire cheap labor. Because of his policies, big business was able to increase their prices by outsourcing the jobs to cheap workers. With the use of cheap labor, Obama’s corporate allies were able to ignore the growing population of Americans, including disabled workers, drug addicts, and former criminals. They were also able to ignore the flat wages that Americans made.
Trump’s “Hire American” policy is the complete opposite of Obama’s actions. The policy decreased the number of foreign workers and gave big business no other option than to spend more money on paying American workers more money, training workers that have been out of the workplace for a period of time, and invest in machinery that increases productivity.
In 2018, wages rose 3.0% across the country under the “Hire American” policy. But among Americans who switched jobs, wages rose 4.6%. And in Minnesota, a state where less migrant workers live, jobs increased by 5.2%. According to the Wall Street Journal, wages are supposed to continue to rise up to the presidential election in 2020.
But Trump is currently facing a bit of pressure to abandon his “Hire American” policy by allowing more foreign workers into the country, especially the ones who will fit into the college graduate and middle-class jobs. Business-first Republicans, like those that are involved in the Koch network, are the ones putting the pressure on the president.
Business-first Republicans are essentially begging for the ability to use cheap workers imported into the country so they can cut labor costs, investment costs, and raise their stock values. Many of those Republicans hold jobs inside of the White House. Trump is slowly leaning towards going with what the business groups want him to do.
While Trump was at the Conservative Political Action Conference this past weekend, he strayed away from his well-known opposition of the mass legal immigration system and promoted a legal immigration system that will benefit the country’s corporations. “We need an immigration policy that helps all Americans thrive, flourish, prosper. We need an immigration policy that’s going to be great for our corporations and our great companies. We need an immigration policy where people coming into our country can love our country and love our fellow citizens,” stated President Trump. “And now, we want people to come in, we need workers to come in but they’ve got to come in legally and they’ve got to come in through merit,” he continued.
Anytime the United States receives an inflow of foreign workers – whether they’re legal, illegal, permanent, or temporary – jobs and wages are cut, which causes the CEOs and investors to cover the cost of lost wages. Using legal and illegal migration to boost the economy removes wealth from young employees to the investors by flooding the market with cheap labor.
Annually, the United States receives one million legal immigrants, two million visa workers, and eight million illegal immigrants. Because of this mass immigration, profits and Wall Street values spike by shrinking the salaries of 150 million white and blue-collar employees. The cheap labor policy also reduces high tech investment, widens health gaps, hurts the education system, and pushes Americans away from high-tech careers.
It also steers wealth and investment away from towns in the middle of the country because coastal investors can more easily hire cheap labor from the immigration populations, which typically live in the coastal areas. Because of that, the coastal investment flow increases coastal real estate prices, which in turn, pushes the poor Americans out of thriving cities.