Despite his grandiose promises, Donald Trump’s economy has failed to deliver for Wisconsin families and communities. Even before the pandemic, Trump’s chaotic trade wars, tax giveaway to billionaires, and incentives to corporations to offshore American jobs devastated Wisconsin farmers, workers, and small businesses. Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, Trump’s failed leadership is putting Wisconsinites in an even more dire economic bind. Get the facts on Trump’s economic failures below:

FACT: Donald Trump’s erratic trade wars cost Wisconsinites and forced manufacturers to lay off workers. 

Donald Trump’s devastating trade policies have closed hard-earned markets and, according to some estimates, cost Wisconsinites more than $825 million in additional taxes — and that was before the COVID-19 pandemic further crushed the economy. From 2018-2019, in the height of the trade war, mass layoffs in Wisconsin jumped 25% over 2016-2017 levels, to 18,949 workers. In 2019, the manufacturing industry saw its worst performance since the nadir of the Great Recession–with five straight months of contraction and cost Wisconsin thousands of Manufacturing jobs.

In the Oshkosh-Neenah region alone, communities have experienced a net loss of 1,800 manufacturing jobs since Donald Trump’s inauguration.

FACT: Donald Trump is diverting millions from Oshkosh manufacturing programs to fund his ineffective and wasteful border wall.

Despite promises that Mexico would pay for his border wall, Donald Trump has placed the burden on communities like Oshkosh, diverting $101 million in committed funds from Oshkosh Corp.’s military vehicle production program in exchange for a failed campaign promise. These unilateral diversions, whose constitutionality is being challenged in the courts, could not come at a worse time for communities already under economic strain.

FACT: Donald Trump’s failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic is leaving working families behind.

FACT: Donald Trump’s mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic has sent the American economy into free fall.

Donald Trump’s bungled response to COVID-19 has contributed to higher coronavirus cases, more deaths, and greater overall economic harm in the US compared to any of its peer countries. The Congressional Budget Office’s 10-year outlook now projects that the unemployment rate will not return to pre-pandemic levels before 2030. Prior to the pandemic, GDP was projected to grow 2.3% in 2020 (in line with the 10-year average), despite Trump’s claims that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would bring 4%, 5%, or even 6% growth. CBO now predicts that GDP will shrink by 5.8% in 2020.

In Wisconsin, businesses are feeling the weight of the Trump Administration’s failure to lead an effective response. As factories are then forced to close, like a paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids which just laid off its 900 employees, workers and communities along the supply chain bear the brunt of the harm.

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue forecasts that wages will fall 4.2% in the state in 2020 (compared to 3.5% nationwide) and that private employment will decline 7.8% in 2020 (and grow back just 4.8% in 2021). These projections come as Wisconsin families are struggling to make ends meet and Trump and Republicans have allowed federal benefits to expire. In July, 8% of Wisconsin households reported not having enough food to eat and 12% of all renters in Wisconsin reported being behind on rent.

FACT: Farm bankruptcies jumped up in 2019 and Wisconsin lost 10% of its dairy farms–the largest one-year drop on record.

Trump’s chaotic trade policies led to unnecessary and devastating retaliation against Wisconsin farmers and businesses, particularly the state’s dairy producers. US farm bankruptcies jumped 20% in 2019 (the highest increase since 2011 in the midst of the Great Recession) and Wisconsin suffered the greatest losses in the country, with small family farms bearing the brunt of the harm.

FACT: Donald Trump’s massive tax scam included incentives for American companies to offshore jobs to foreign countries. 

Donald Trump’s massively unpopular tax giveaway to billionaires included incentives for American companies to ship jobs overseas, including no taxes on many profits generated in foreign countries. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office noted that the Republican tax law incentivized companies to move “tangible assets” abroad, such as factories, offices, and jobs. And under the Trump Administration, federal contracts awarded to foreign companies have increased 30 percent.


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