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How Hard (or Easy) Will it be for Trump to Fulfill His 100-Day Jobs Plan?

By Geoff Sadow

“I will be the greatest jobs producer that God ever created.” — Donald J. Trump

With those words during his first and only post-election news conference, President-elect Donald Trump set the jobs bar to heavenly heights. And everyone is wondering, what will it take to clear it?

As the Obama administration comes to a close, the jobless rate sits at a relatively low 4.7 percent, a number economists sometimes categorize as “full employment.” However, by almost every account, the election of 2016 will go down as the election about the forgotten middle class workers. So as Mr. Trump sits down in the Oval Office, he will need to get serious about jobs.

The promise to bring back jobs to working class Americans was a cornerstone of the Trump campaign. Arguably, it won him the job as middle class white men voted in unprecedented numbers with the expectation that he will save or restore their jobs. During the campaign he promised that under his plan, over the next 10 years, the economy will average 3.5 percent growth and create a total of 25 million new jobs.

And as we move into the beginning of his presidency, he claims to have influenced companies like Walmart, Carrier, Ford and General Motors to keep plants open and expand domestic production previously planned for Mexico. In all, various companies have announced a total of more than 200,000 “new” jobs since the election. But there’s more to it. For many companies, new promises to add jobs are nothing more than repackaged versions of plans that already were in place before the election. Executives and analysts say they would have happened regardless of who ended up in the White House.

No matter how you look at it, a job is a job. This has been a welcome development for the workforce. But can he keep it up?

To explain how he will make all this happen, last September Mr. Trump released a “Contract With The American Voter,” a 100-day action plan to “Make America Great Again,” along with a supplement of parallel efforts to work with Congress to introduce broader legislative measures and fight for their passage. We thought it would be a good time to re-examine these proposals and look ahead to see what it all might mean.

1. I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205.

Could it happen?
For the author of “The Art of the Deal,” this is familiar territory. But it may not be as easy as negotiating with a contractor. In a perfect environment, Mr. Trump would bring Mexico and Canada back to the table and get Congress to approve a new deal. Canada has expressed a willingness to talk, but Mr. Trump’s overheated campaign rhetoric about Mexico could prove problematic now. Congress could be willing to go along, but it’s hard to predict. While Republicans have a clear majority in the House, Senate rules and the thin GOP majority in the upper chamber could be a problem. A second option is simpler, the United States can withdraw from the treaty six months after giving written notice.

How would it affect jobs?
According to The New York Times, the move could set off a trade war by prompting Mexico to raise tariffs on American goods in response. That could cause a downturn in the U.S. economy and a spike in the unemployment rate that would undermine the very reason Trump is considering withdrawing from NAFTA; while some jobs would be created, more jobs would be lost as American exports grow more expensive for foreigners. And domestic demand would drop as cheap foreign goods hit with tariffs become more expensive, meaning Americans would probably buy fewer of the Mexican-made goods that stock the shelves of Walmart and other major American retailers.

2. I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Could it happen?
This is simple, since the deal never was approved by Congress, Mr. Trump will not have to do anything to get out of the pact. At that point, other participants, such as Australia and Japan could pursue regional trade deals that exclude the United States.

How would it affect jobs?
Studies have shown a wide range of predictions on job loss, from 150,000–450,000 over a period of 10 years. Other researchers suggest U.S. companies will get richer through comparative advantage, but overall there will be no change in the number of jobs within our own economy.

Read the rest at WorkingNation.

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WorkingNation is a nonprofit campaign calling attention to the U.S. workforce employability gap. We have one question for you: Are you “FutureProof”?

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WorkingNation

WorkingNation

WorkingNation is a nonprofit campaign calling attention to the U.S. workforce employability gap. We have one question for you: Are you “future proof”?

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