On the night of his big Super Tuesday win, Republican front-runner Donald Trump slammed the practice of outsourcing during a press conference, telling supporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida:
“You look at countries like Mexico, where they’re killing us on the border, absolutely destroying us on the border.Companies like Carrier air conditioner just moving into Mexico, Ford moving into Mexico, Nabisco closing up shop in Chicago and moving into Mexico. We have to stop it, folks.”
He then attempted to brand himself as a champion of the middle class:
“Now they’re leaving from places that they used to move to into other parts of the world. We can’t let that happen. We’ve lost our manufacturing jobs. We’ve lost our manufacturing—millions and millions of jobs, thousands and thousands and thousand of plants, manufacturing plants, warehouses. I mean we are losing so much; we can’t let it happen.”
But as Mother Jones points out, Trump vocally took a very different stance against outsourcing roughly a decade ago, making this one of his biggest ideological flip-flops to date. In 2005, Trump wrote a pro-outsourcing blog post on the website of his now defunct Trump University, which is presently the subject of a civil suit and fraud allegations.
The blog post was titled, “Outsourcing Creates Jobs In The Long Run.” It took the stance that workers who have lost their jobs to outsourcing should put the health of the economy and the survival of companies before their own.
For a man who values business so highly and is so tuned into the bigger picture, Trump has done a terrible job of keeping his various ventures alive.
“I understand that outsourcing means that employees lose jobs. Because work is often outsourced to other countries, it means Americans lose jobs. In other cases, nonunion employees get the work. Losing jobs is never a good thing, but we have to look at the bigger picture.
Last year, Nobel Prize-winning economist Dr. Lawrence R. Klein, the founder of Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates, co-authored a study that showed how global outsourcing actually creates more jobs and increases wages, at least for IT workers. The study found that outsourcing helped companies be more competitive and more productive. That means they make more money, which means they funnel more into the economy, thereby, creating more jobs.”
“I know that doesn’t make it any easier for people whose jobs have been outsourced overseas, but if a company’s only means of survival is by farming jobs outside its walls, then sometimes it’s a necessary step. The other option might be to close its doors for good.”
In 2005, outsourcing did not yet have overwhelming negative press, and Trump was selling clothing manufactured overseas. Fast forward to 2016, where he criticizes companies like Apple and Nabisco for manufacturing their products in the same fashion. Times and rhetoric sure do change when a presidential campaign in at stake.
The Trump campaign didn’t respond to Mother Jones’ request for comment.