Tyler Arnold | The Center Square
President Donald Trump took credit for job growth, manufacturing growth and growth in energy production in a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, last week.
“Our spirit is strong, our stride is back and our stand is clear,” Trump told the crowd. “We are finally putting America first. It’s about time.”
The president said that his deregulation of industry, his negotiation of trade deals and implementation of tariffs have contributed to job growth in the United States and specifically the state of Ohio. He said that the country has seen 6 million new jobs since election day and that there are 123,000 more Ohio workers than before he was elected.
Trump said that his administration has ended the war on energy by repealing regulations that former President Barack Obama’s administration put in place. He said that this has led to the United States becoming the largest energy producer in the world, including number one in oil and natural gas production.
Turning to trade, Trump said he has pushed for better trade deals and stood up to China, who he accused of stealing American jobs. He credited himself with negotiating a new trade deal with Mexico and China to replace NAFTA, which will put stricter rules for keeping auto manufacturing plants in the country.
Trump said the Republican agenda is “pro-worker, pro-jobs, pro-family, pro-growth and 100 percent pro-America.”
Congress still needs to vote on the new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, known as USMCA. Trump also recently announced additional tariffs on China.
Despite the optimism, some free-market groups have criticized Trump’s tariff policies. The Buckeye Institute has said they hurt the auto industry rather than help and point out that manufacturing jobs were on an upward trajectory before the tariffs were even in place.
Several American-based auto industries have seen record losses in the era of the Trump tariffs, including Ford Motor Company and General Motors. GM received criticism from the president when it closed the Lordstown plant in Ohio, but the company has since announced a plan to expand three other Ohio plants.