Washington, D.C. — As the ripple effects of President Donald Trump’s U.S.-China trade war plunge the manufacturing economy deeper into a recession, and as factories show signs of contraction for the fifth consecutive month, the Center for American Progress Action Fund is releasing a new video in a social media campaign to educate Americans on the damage caused by the Trump administration’s erratic trade policies.
The campaign will tell the stories of Americans like Trisha Miller, a resident of Lordstown, Ohio. Miller and nearly 15,000 other workers were laid off from General Motors (GM) in 2018 when the company announced a company-wide restructuring. The announcement caught residents and GM employees by surprise: Just the previous year, Trump had implored workers not to move or leave the Mahoning Valley, promising, “Those jobs have left Ohio. They’re all coming back. They’re all coming back.”
Miller now says that President Trump’s broken promises have left her deeply disappointed. “If I could meet Trump today, I would tell him how disappointed I was that he didn’t fight for us more,” she says. “When Trump said all the jobs were coming back, I wanted to believe him. As I watched 1,500 people leave, there were days that was really hard.”
In 2016, Trump promised Ohio workers that he would reinvigorate the economy in Ohio and in other states with a heavy manufacturing presence, but his administration’s trade wars and tax policies have resulted in the complete opposite. The Trump administration’s tax bill incentivized many companies, including GM, to outsource jobs. In 2018, GM made a net profit of $8 billion, paid no federal taxes, and reported a windfall of $157 million in the first quarter of the year due to the tax cuts. Despite the financial gains made from the tax bill, GM has continued to lay off workers.
Miller, who now works at a transition center to aid former GM workers, says that President Trump’s trade-war-by-tweet policy with China has damaged her community and shows just how out of touch the administration is with the working people of Ohio. Miller says that her faith no longer allows her to support the president.
“Does Trump understand our communities or our families? I don’t think so. We are a Christian family. I thought he stood for what I believed in,” says Miller. “But after watching the Twitter storms, I don’t care if you’re the president or the guy next door—nobody should act that way.
While the local economy is suffering under the weight of the Trump administration’s damaging trade policies, Miller says she remains hopeful that things will turn around soon. “The people here in the Mahoning Valley are amazing. I’m hoping things pick up, because this is our home, this is where we love, this is where we work, and this is where we want to stay.”
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