Center for American Progress Action

CAP Action Memo: Trump’s Broken Promises to Pennsylvania Working Families
Press Release

CAP Action Memo: Trump’s Broken Promises to Pennsylvania Working Families

Washington, D.C. — Tomorrow, President Donald Trump will join Vice President Mike Pence to headline an event in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

In previous trips to the state, Trump promised Pennsylvania families that his administration would work on behalf of workers to reinvigorate the steel industry, lower health care costs, and increase wages for workers—and he is likely to address these issues again tomorrow. 

In reality, the Trump administration has failed to deliver on these promises, siding with corporate donors in the fossil fuel industry to roll back environmental protections; allowing insurance companies to end protections for people with preexisting conditions; and signing into law a tax bill that largely benefited the wealthy and rewarded companies for moving jobs overseas.

Learn more about President Trump’s top broken promises to Pennsylvania families here.

Factory closings

Promise: “We will be opening brand new factories across this state.” – Donald Trump in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, November 6, 2016

Reality: Experts predict that the Trump administration’s erratic steel and aluminum trade policies will result in close to 180,000 job losses across the country, including nearly 14,000 jobs in Pennsylvania, many of which are in the manufacturing sector.

  • The unemployment rate in the Harrisburg-Carlisle metro area increased in August and September of this year.
  • Pennsylvania has lost 9,700 manufacturing jobs in a state where roughly 1 out of 11 jobs are in the manufacturing sector. Across the state, manufacturing employment is down 1.7 percent from its peak of 572,500 in October 2018.
  • More than 900 manufacturing jobs were lost with the closure of the 77-year-old family-owned Wood-Mode factory—the most job losses at any company in Pennsylvania this year.
  • According to a 2018 report, three Pennsylvania manufacturing hubs—Pittsburgh, Scranton, and Harrisburg—are among the top 50 hardest-hit communities in the country due to the Trump administration’s erratic trade policies.
  • The Pittsburgh steelmaker Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation lost $7 million in one quarter last year due to the Trump administration’s trade policies.

Health care

Promise: “We’ll create quality, reliable, affordable health care in a free market where parents can make the health care decisions that they really want to make for their families. It will be a much better health care at a much less cost.” – Donald Trump in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, November 1, 2016

Reality: The Trump administration is trying to sabotage Americans’ health care by repealing the Affordable Care Act or destroying the law in the courts:

  • 5.3 million Pennsylvanians with preexisting conditions will lose protections under ACA repeal.
  • 858,000 Pennsylvanians will lose their health coverage under ACA repeal.
  • The average Pennsylvania family would see a $3,650 annual premium increase under ACA repeal.

Profits and wages

Promise: “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created … our poorer citizens will get new jobs and higher pay and new hope for their life.” – Donald Trump, October 5, 2016

Reality: Trump said that he would veto an increase in the federal minimum wage, which would have given a raise to nearly 40 million people nationwide. The Trump administration blocked a federal minimum wage increase for Pennsylvania workers. 

  • 2 million Pennsylvania workers were denied a pay increase as a result of Trump blocking a federal minimum wage increase.
  • Pennsylvania workers lost $7 billion in wages as a result of Trump blocking a federal minimum wage increase.

The Trump administration has also taken away safeguards that ensure workers are paid overtime, protect retirees from exploitative financial advisors, and ensure that people pay less at the gas pump. Thanks to the Trump administration, Pennsylvanians have seen:


Promise: “The largest tax reductions are for the middle class.” – Donald Trump in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, October 22, 2016

Reality: Most of the Trump administration’s $2 trillion tax cut goes to corporations and the rich. Many Pennsylvania families are getting stuck with the bill.

  • 375,990 Pennsylvania families paid more in taxes last year due to the Trump administration’s tax bill.
  • The average tax cut for the wealthiest 1 percent of Pennsylvanians is $53,580. Meanwhile, the bottom 80 percent of Pennsylvanians saw just a fraction of that. 

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Freedom Alexander Murphy at [email protected] or 202-796-9712.