President Donald Trump trolled former President Barack Obama’s 2016 claim that the then-Republican candidate Trump would need a “magic wand” to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States.
According to The Hill, at a PBS-hosted town hall in Elkhart, Indiana, in June 2016, Obama said, “Some of those (manufacturing) jobs of the past are just never going to come back.”
“When (Trump) says…that he’s going to bring all these jobs back. Well, how exactly are you going to do that?” Obama continued. “He says, ‘I’m going to negotiate a better deal.’ How are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand to you have? And usually the answer is, he doesn’t have an answer.”
Trump tweeted on Monday, “The previous administration said manufacturing will not come back to the U.S., ‘you would need a magic wand.’ I guess I found the MAGIC WAND – and it is only getting better!”
Last year was the best year for American Manufacturing job growth since 1997, or 21 years. The previous administration said manufacturing will not come back to the U.S., “you would need a magic wand.” I guess I found the MAGIC WAND – and it is only getting better!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 21, 2019
“Last year was the best year for American Manufacturing job growth since 1997, or 21 years,” he noted.
Earlier this month, the White House touted the December jobs report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which showed 312,000 new positions were created, including 32,000 in manufacturing.
For the year, there were 284,000 manufacturing jobs added, which is the most since 1997, according to the administration.
Since Trump was elected in November 2016, about 5 million new jobs have been created overall, while the unemployment rate is less than 4 percent, still hovering near a 50-year low.
Trump argued during the course of the 2016 presidential race that the U.S. economy was being unnecessarily weighed down by over-regulation, high taxation and poor trade deals, costing millions of American jobs in recent decades
Eleven days after taking office, Trump signed an executive order titled, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.” The order required two regulations to be removed from the Federal Register for every one added.
The president was able to report after his first year in office that his administration had exceeded that goal by a country mile, taking away 22 regulations from every one added, according to a White House news release from Dec. 14, 2017. (Some news outlets, like The Washington Post disputed the argument.)
According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Federal Register of rules and regulations is at its lowest page count in a quarter century.
The 2017 calendar year concluded with the Register numbering 61,950 pages, down 35 percent from the all-time record set under Obama’s last year of 95,894 pages. The last time the Register was at its current level was 1993.
On the tax front, Republicans passed and Trump signed into law tax reform legislation in December 2017 that reduced the corporate tax rate from highest in the industrial world of 35 percent to a slightly below average rate of 21 percent.
Finally, Trump has made negotiating new trade deals a top priority, arguing the U.S. exports, and thereby American workers, were being disadvantaged by high tariffs imposed by other nations, while their products flowed into the U.S. facing little or no tariffs.
To incentivize the European Union and nations like China to go to the negotiating table, Trump imposed tariffs on some of their imports.
The administration has pointed to the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement, now called the USMCA, with Canada and Mexico, and a newly signed trade pact with South Korea as some of its biggest successes to date.
Negotiations with the European Union and China are ongoing, but Trump maintains they will result in better terms of trade in the end.
The Wall Street Journal reported last April, regarding Elkhart, where Obama made his speech, “No place in the U.S. has seen a labor-market turnaround like this metropolitan region of 110,000 workers, a mix of blue-collar whites, Mexican immigrants and Amish.”
“It’s like 1955,” Michael Hicks, a Ball State University economist, told The Journal. “If you show up and have minimal literacy skills, you can find a job here.”
The region’s unemployment rate is just over 2 percent or about half the national average.