Earlier this month, a report exposing yet another of Donald Trump’s corrupt businesses practices came to light. A Newsweek investigation found that in at least two of his past three construction projects, Trump walked away from opportunities to create and support good Ohio jobs, opting instead to import foreign-made steel and aluminum materials from China.
For a candidate who is trying to present himself as being tough on trade, revelations like this say a lot about Donald Trump and completely undermine his candidacy.
Donald Trump is profiting off of the very unfair trade deals he now claims to oppose, and this is nothing new for him. He claims to want to bring jobs back to America, but his Trump suit line is manufactured overseas, his furniture line is manufactured in Turkey and his neckties are manufactured in China.
Trump claims that he wants to “Make America Great” for small businesses, but has denied his employees fair wages and vocally supported wage-destroying policies. He talks tough on trade, but how can voters be expected to give the benefit of the doubt to someone with such a long history of destroying manufacturing jobs?
This is another example of how Trump has failed to lead by example and instead opted to line his own pockets. He has claimed that he will bring back jobs to Ohio but has been profiting from and perpetuating the practices of deception, currency manipulation and reckless opportunism that have already sent tens of thousands of our jobs overseas. Trump and his greed-driven business practices have been blind to the impacts on working people, or worse yet, he simply doesn’t care about the human consequence of his self-service.
Trump and his greed-driven business practices have been blind to the impacts on working people.
Further, other new revelations offer us a truth-bearing glimpse into Donald Trump’s motivations as a businessperson.
Trump holds up his self-proclaimed business success as a foundational argument for his candidacy but is unwilling to share basic financial information like his tax returns. What little we do know about his tax situation shows that he lost nearly a billion dollars in a single year and likely leveraged that devastating loss to excuse himself from paying any federal taxes for nearly two decades. This is not the record of a successful businessman nor is it ‘smart’ like he claimed during the first presidential debate.
Trump’s story is a tale of failed business ventures and an abiding disregard for working people. And when you square these facts with his rhetoric on the campaign trail, it is hard to find any reason to elect him as the next president. With this sort of fiction, Trump is better suited to remain in the entertainment industry, and never get anywhere close to the Oval Office.
Working people in Ohio should be deeply concerned with Trump’s actions that have undermined the growth and sustenance of American manufacturing. It would be a fool’s errand to gamble away real opportunity to improve our local economies on someone who has repeatedly walked away from job creation in Ohio only to initially pad his own pockets and fail miserably in the long term.
We have a strong advocate in Hillary Clinton who has been an unstoppable champion for working families for decades. Her commitment to create good-paying jobs by making the greatest investment in American manufacturing and infrastructure since World War II is just the start. Hillary is also committed to standing up for workers when it comes to trade and is a staunch defender of workers’ rights.
Ohio is no stranger to presidential elections, as we often get a front row seat as one of the perennial battlegrounds, but the 2016 elections are certainly an atypical experience. As we learn more about Donald Trump and his history in business, the more we can see that he is not the candidate who has the best interests of working people at the forefront of his agenda. Instead, we now see that Trump has intentionally put us on the menu.
Tim Burga is president of the Ohio AFL-CIO.