Trump Killed ‘Rust Belt’ Steel and Aluminum Manufacturing Jobs in Secret Chinese Deals

*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*

Donald Trump has spent no small amount of time lying to American manufacturing workers in the so-called “Rust Belt” and promising to bring back their jobs that he claims were lost to international trade deals. It may sound good on the surface, but like every other utterance out of Trump’s mouth it is a lie and he is a flaming hypocrite. Trump particularly singles out China for his fake wrath and accuses them of everything untoward under the Sun including stealing American jobs.

What Trump never revealed to workers in the steel and aluminum manufacturing industry is that they likely don’t have jobs in part because he abandoned using American made steel and aluminum in his construction projects and secretly dealt with the Chinese through a maze of offshore “businesses” to conceal his tactics – tactics designed to enrich Donald J. Trump at the expense of American workers.

Although not a “bombshell” story like the revelation that Trump “likely” hasn’t paid taxes for at least 18 years, it is big news that Trump took extraordinary measures to, as Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald wrote:

Stiff American steel workers on his own construction projects for years, choosing to deprive untold millions of dollars from four key electoral swing states and instead directing it to China – the country whose trade practices helped decimate the once-powerful industrial center of the United States.”

According to a Newsweek investigation, in “at least two of Trump’s last three construction projects” he purchased both aluminum and steel from China instead of American manufacturers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan. In other jobs, Trump just used much-cheaper concrete instead of steel and dealt with firms intricately “linked” to the Luchese and Genovese crime families. It is important to note that Trump is not under investigation and has not been accused of any wrongdoing, “but it’s true the Mafia has long controlled much of the concrete industry in New York.” The point is that Trump will go to any length, including helping China’s economy, dealing with Mafia-related firms and killing Americans’ jobs to enrich Donald Trump. As Eichenwald noted, Trump cannot claim he is using cheap Chinese steel and aluminum to save money to satisfy investors’ lust for profit; he is helping communist Chinese firms, banks and government and killing Americans’ jobs solely for his own profit.

Mr. Eichenwald does a nice job of detailing how Trump surreptitiously bought Chinese-manufactured construction materials, but it wasn’t a simple task to track the purchases which is all the more suspicious because there is no law against buying Chinese products. In a very simple explanation, to conceal his purchase of Chinese steel and aluminum, Trump goes through various entities, “including holding companies, registered off-shore” that exist only as legal documents “to limit potential liability of the ‘real businesses’ while obscuring their true owners.”

The true steel manufacturing company owners in one of Trump’s Las Vegas projects was eventually tracked to China. As the Newsweek article pointed out, Trump’s purchases not only provided “financial benefits” to many Chinese companies and raw material providers, it also profits the communist Chinese government and Chinese banks that are “arms of the communist state and tightly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.” Also, those communist-owned banks in turn provide financial aid to other Chinese companies that are in direct competition with American manufacturers. The only winners in Trump’s deals are Chinese workers, Chinese manufacturers, Chinese banks, the communist Chinese government and fascist Donald Trump. Conversely, the losers are American workers and manufacturers who can’t compete with foreign companies that are more than willing to absorb losses on manufactured goods to drive American companies out of business.

An example of the devastation Trump’s actions caused American aluminum producers is the construction of one of his buildings that used tons of aluminum. Instead of purchasing that important construction material from American companies such as Alcoa, Trump instead “turn[ed] to a subsidiary of a Chinese aluminum manufacturer” willing to sell at reduced prices to kill American competitors. And, because many other American businesses are using cheaper overseas aluminum, the American aluminum-manufacturing industry and the living-wage jobs it provides, is collapsing. In states such as Ohio, West Virginia and Texas over half the aluminum smelters have completely closed their doors due to being undercut by overseas competition of which Trump is complicit in aiding and abetting their demise.

There is no law against buying foreign manufactured goods even though it is killing American jobs and industries, and of course Donald Trump is not the only guilty party. However, he is the only lying hypocrite going around the country condemning international trade deals, criticizing Communist China and promising American manufacturing workers who’ve lost their jobs to overseas competition that only he, Donald J. Trump, is going to bring back those lost jobs.

It is important to reiterate that Donald Trump’s businesses are not publicly-held and he has no obligation or responsibility to make money for shareholders. So, this idea of abandoning American manufacturers’ products and American blue-collar workers for cheaper Chinese goods has nothing whatsoever to do with producing higher returns to satisfy investor obligations; it is only about producing higher returns and profits for Donald J. Trump personally. Those jobs he promises blue collar workers to “bring back to America” are the same jobs “that he secretly helped destroy.”

 

H/T Kurt Eichenwald