Don’t Blame Mexico for Job Losses, Blame US Businesses

Feb 13, 2016
11:39 AM

If there is any real and raw example about the outsourcing of the United States, it is this February 10 viral video posted on Facebook, showing the announcement that Carrier will be closing its plant in Indianapolis and moving to Monterrey, Mexico.

What is interesting to note is this: despite the fact that the video will be even more fodder for Donald Trump, the Carrier decision is actually going against the outsourcing trend:

The decision to move the facilities to Mexico is out of sync with what other manufacturers have done, said Michael Hicks, an economic expert at Ball State University. Many have invested in their U.S. operations during the past few years, he said.

A slowdown is projected for manufacturing in 2016, but it’s highly unlikely, Hicks said, that other manufacturers will uproot their factories and leave the country.

“What happened yesterday, in my judgment,” Hicks said, “is just a bad coincidence.”

Barry Bosworth, an economic expert at The Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, echoed Hicks’ comments. He said the days of companies fleeing for cheaper labor are mostly in the past.

Companies that moved into the U.S. in the past few years to produce goods aren’t likely to exit because they’re more diversified than businesses that fled in the early to mid-2000s, Bosworth said.

So in the end, let’s call what this move by Carrier and parent company United Technologies Corp what it really is: a “business move” that not only rips the fabric of American communities but also exploits those of Mexican workers. People need to start having a grown-up conversation about all this (NAFTA, anyone?) and why it all connected—yes, displacement and migration are part of the problem. But let’s be real for just a minute: American businesses are making the decision to move and instead of blaming Mexico, why don’t Americans blame the very same American businesses they work for?