Mar 31, 2017

U.S. companies are sending jobs to Mexico again

Evan Vucci / AP

Companies are starting to export jobs to Mexico again, and at an increasing rate, according to a Bloomberg report.

The exodus: Companies from Illinois to Washington to New Jersey are closing shop or reducing the number of Americans they're employing and sending jobs to Mexico instead. This comes after a flow of jobs to Mexico that seemed to ebb after the election, with notable Trump tweets targeting Ford and Carrier Corp.

What it means: As NYT columnist Paul Krugman puts it, "after a brief hiatus — unclear whether there was any real pause, or just a pause in announcements, but in any case CEOs seem to have decided that NAFTA isn't under much threat." And that's probably because companies are starting to believe that Trump isn't in a position to pursue trade negotiations in a serious way — especially after his approval ratings have fallen to 36%, both his travel bans have been shot down in courts, and his bungled healthcare bill didn't make it to a House vote last week.

...on trade, as on everything else substantive, Trumpism is going to be all huffing and puffing with very little to show for it.

Already, draft documents of NAFTA renegotiations circulating on Capitol Hill are more modest than originally expected and don't get rid of the most controversial provisions, per the WSJ, which reported on the drafts yesterday.

Also worth a note from the column: Krugman's explanation of how protectionism will hurt U.S. jobs is spot on (the "stuff you export is often produced with a lot of imported components, stuff you import often indirectly includes a lot of your own exports") and is worth a full read.

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