Trump Hails Boeing Workers
February 23, 2017
By John Steinberger | Contributing Writer
President Donald Trump addressed a standing-room-only crowd of 6000 recently at the Boeing plant in North Charleston. The occasion was the rollout of the Boeing 787-10 passenger plane. The plane, which was completely assembled at the North Charleston plant and will be exclusively manufactured there, has a range of 7500 miles and seats 330 passengers. It has 25% greater fuel efficiency than competing long-haul passenger jets.
Trump’s visit highlighted his vision for increasing American manufacturing. He told the crowd, consisting mostly of Boeing workers, “We’re here today to celebrate American engineering and American manufacturing. We’re also here to celebrate American jobs. “
Pointing to the prototype 787-10 Dreamliner positioned behind him, Trump said, “This plane, as you know, was built right here in the great state of South Carolina. Our goal as a nation must be to rely less on imports and more on products made right here in the USA.” All of the aircraft assembled inside the hanger in which the President spoke were scheduled for export to foreign airlines.
Trump told the Boeing workers that they exemplify the American spirit. Referencing the Wright Brothers and their maiden flight in 1903, the President said, “That flight was a testament to the American spirit. I see that spirit here. We have the greatest people in the world.”
Once again referring to the aircraft positioned behind him, Trump focused on the Dreamliner name. “That’s what we do in America – we dream of things, and then we’ll build them,” he told the crowd. “We turn vision into reality, and we will be doing a lot more of that in the months and years to come!”
The culture of Boeing was on full display during the event. The hanger was equipped with two large screen televisions and a crystal-clear sound system, company executives and communications specialists in a studio setting frequently repeated the term “team”. Two days removed from a 3-to-1 vote against joining the International Association of Machinists (IAM), Boeing South Carolina General Manager Joan Robinson-Berry told the workers, “Our house is going to remain union-free. You build amazing products. You have demonstrated to the world that you are the best.”
We all heard or saw the numerous ads for or against union affiliation, not just targeting the 3000 Boeing production workers who were eligible to vote but also the general public. South Carolina is among the 25 states which have right-to-work laws that do not require workers to join a union. Even if a majority of Boeing production workers had voted to join the IAM, no worker would have been obligated to join the union or pay dues.
While not referencing the union vote, Trump made it clear that he wants to protect American workers from job losses resulting from manufacturing plants closing and relocating overseas. He told the crowd, “On every front, we are going to work for the American people … We want to make it much easier to manufacture in America and much harder to leave.” He cited reduced regulatory constraints, lower taxes and negotiating better trade deals as policies which will expand America’s manufacturing base.
I was interviewed by WIS television (the Columbia NBC affiliate) after the speech. The reporter asked what I considered an insulting question. The reporter asked me, “Why should we force companies to stay in America?” My response is that we should create conditions under which it makes economic sense to manufacture in America. Our 35% corporate income tax rate is the highest in the world. The FairTax plan that I have advocated for since 2004 would eliminate the corporate income tax and the payroll tax and incentivize an industrial expansion in America.
It bothers me that we have had Presidents from both parties who have accepted the closure of tens of thousands of American factories over the past few decades and the loss of millions of high-paying manufacturing jobs. We will not be able to sustain America’s middle class with a reliance on service-sector jobs. I am delighted to have a President who stands behind the Made In America label!
John Steinberger is the editor-in-chief of LowcountrySource.com. To contact him, email John@LowcountrySource.com.