American Companies Keep Sending Thousands of Jobs Overseas

Before his inauguration, Donald Trump said there would be “consequences” for companies that shipped American jobs overseas. Recently laid-off employees at IBM, GE, and Microsoft might wonder what those consequences are.

Each of those three companies announced in 2017 that they’d be offshoring jobs. And they’re far from alone. A glance at Department of Labor data reveals more than 125,000 Americans were eligible for job training assistance in 2016 because they lost their job to a worker abroad or were otherwise displaced because of global trade.

Some of those jobs eventually come back to the U.S. In 2016, the country brought back more manufacturing jobs from overseas than it sent abroad, according to the Reshoring Initiative. But others never return, leaving workers and their communities dealing with the fallout.

In December 2016, Donald Trump famously claimed he had stopped Carrier from sending more than 1,000 jobs to Mexico. The high-profile rescue made for good press, but there was a nasty truth lurking behind the hype. For one, the actual number of jobs saved from offshoring was closer to 800. In addition, some jobs were still lost. Carrier, a subsidiary of United Technologies, moved ahead in 2017 with plans to send hundreds of other jobs at the Indiana plant to Mexico.

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