The Art of the Deal is More the Art of the Dupe

Richard Cucarese

Richard Cucarese Rapid Response Coordinator, USW Local 4889

“Buy American, hire American.”  It’s become President Donald Trump’s sing-song mantra. It’s key to his “Making America Great Again.” It’s part of his waxing nostalgic about how he’s the true master of the art of the deal. It’s key to his tales of storming through the boardrooms of corporate America, causing CEOs to cower in his presence as he mandates that American jobs be preserved, and even expanded, or else there will be hell to pay from him in defense of the long-suffering American worker.

To a weakened working class, it raised hopes that there would be a voice in Washington to resurrect of our beleaguered industrial might. It evoked senses of optimism that there would be no more one-sided, mega trade deals which have decimated our industrial landscape.

But do President Trump’s words hold truth?  From the way he’s backpedaled, and basically shown his hand as being nothing more than a great manipulator, the outlook for the American worker returning to the days of solid employment, strong wages, pensions and exemplary benefits is poor.

Take a look at Buy American for infrastructure.  President Trump came storming into office saying he would tear up any deal, past, present or future, not including a provision requiring American steel, from the point of melting until the finished product is delivered.

Then he agreed to allow foreign steel in the recently approved Keystone XL pipeline.

The backpedaling begins. Now he says the requirement may (key word here; MAY) only be valid for future deals.

Does this sound like what American workers were promised? For workers, such as the thousands still laid off from U.S. Steel’s Granite City Works, this is a slap in the face.

What makes the situation even worse and reeking of typical D.C. politics as usual, Russia’s NLMK and California Steel Industries, which is owned by a Brazilian and Japanese conglomerate, have lobbied Congress hard to kill the “Buy America, Melt to Finish” provision altogether.

Squire Patton Boggs, the main lobbyist for foreign steel, has ties to Speaker Ryan, who has attempted ad nauseam to block Buy American provisions.  How come President Trump is not taking on his party or foreign steel lobbyists?

Now, pundits are saying Republicans in Congress, reeling from their failure to overturn the Affordable Care Act, plan to offer nothing but a diluted and diminished infrastructure bill.

If the American public is learning one thing about diplomacy, détente and the power of the Office of the President, it is that Trump displays none of the qualities necessary to deliver on the “Art of the Deal.”  Instead, we are left to sift through the rubble produced by a narcissistic individual surrounding himself with sniveling, sophomoric, testosterone-overdriven alpha males who equate policy and diplomacy with 140-character tweets.

And once again American manufacturing workers are left in the cold to fend for themselves.

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You can contact Richard on Twitter @stlwrkr4889.

Posted In: Union Matters

Union Matters

California Protects Precariat Workers

From the AFL-CIO

In a historic win for California’s workers, the California Legislature approved a bill Sept. 13 that makes the misclassification of employees as independent contractors more difficult.

Sponsored by the California Labor Federation, Assembly Bill 5 codifies and expands on a 2018 California Supreme Court decision.

The bill also will help curb the rampant exploitation of workers by unscrupulous employers and give California’s working people the basic rights and protections we all deserve. Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the bill into law.

 “The time is up for unscrupulous employers who claim their workers are ‘independent’ in order to cut corners on costs,”  California Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez said about A.B. 5

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