Hey, Wasn’t Trump Supposed to Stop This?

So much for those “America first” economic policies, eh?

There’s usually no turning back once a factory closure is announced. That didn’t stop Massachusetts Senator Edward J. Markey from trying, after Philips Lighting recently decided to shut down manufacturing operations in Fall River.

Philips plans to eliminate about 160 production and product development jobs in Fall River and move the manufacturing work to Monterrey, Mexico. Markey on Monday called Chris White, the Dutch company’s Americas president, to ask if there was room for reconsideration, and to register his displeasure if the closure is indeed a done deal.

It was worth a shot, but Markey says White told him the jobs are definitely going south.

Layoffs are scheduled to start this summer, and continue through early 2019, although a Philips spokeswoman says an unspecified number of white-collar positions will remain…

Meanwhile, Massachusetts Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III sent a letter on Monday to White signed by the state’s congressional delegation – all nine representatives as well as Markey and Senator Elizabeth Warren – criticizing the closure. They pointed to tax breaks that Fall River gave the plant in the 1990s, and a state agency’s more recent subsidy for a wind turbine.

Philips Lighting recently said it would spend nearly $200 million to buy back stock this year — a move the delegation said represented a shareholder windfall at the expense of workers like those in Fall River.

Wasn’t the election of Donald Trump supposed to prevent this stuff from happening? Didn’t the bigoted billionaire vow to do something about companies shipping jobs out of the country? Why hasn’t Trump tweeted about Philips abandoning America in favor of Mexico? Where are his powerful negotiating skills?

Having said that, if any of these soon-to-be-former employees voted for Trump, one wonders what they think of him now. If they voted for him because they thought he would stand up for “working-class Americans,” then shame on them, because they chose to ignore the reality that Trump only ever stood up for himself—and that the only candidate with a track record of standing up for all Americans regardless of class was the one opposite Trump on the presidential debate stage. (If they voted for Trump because they thought he would stick it to nonwhites in Fall River and elsewhere, well, try finding sympathy elsewhere.)

Think about how many jobs—jobs that could not be outsourced—Hillary Clinton would have created, especially jobs in the field of clean energy. Clinton might have gone down in history as “the greatest jobs President that God ever created”—but 62 million Americans chose a different path.

Will any of the mainstream-media hacks who wrung their hands and wet their pants last weekend when Michelle Wolf smacked down the Trump administration ever do any analysis of how many jobs would have been created had Clinton won the 2016 presidential election and implemented policies that benefited the many instead of the few? Of course not. To do so would be to invite attacks by the Trumpists, who would accuse such reporters of “liberal media bias”—and the Fourth Estate cowers in fear at the thought of being accused of such nonsense.

Anybody who thought Trump would magically stop jobs from being shipped out of this country got played in November 2016. The only question is, will they wise up before November 2020?

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.