As originally published by ProPublica in a joint venture with The Atlantic
Two weeks before the presidential election, Donald Trump flew into a faded textile town in North Carolina and riled up the crowd over one of his campaign’s signature promises: bringing back the jobs that businesses had shipped overseas.
“They wouldn’t be doing it if I was president,” Trump said to cheers. “Believe me, when they say, ‘We want to send our product’ — whatever the hell they make — ‘We want to send our product back into the United States,’ I’d say, ‘We’d love to have your product — 35 percent tax. Let’s see if you move.’”
He ticked off a list of companies that had closed factories in the state, calling attention to Leviton Manufacturing, a maker of light switches and electrical outlets found in homes and offices around the world, including Trump’s real-estate properties.
“I buy a lot of Leviton switches,” Trump said. “I’m not buying ’em anymore.”
The problem? Now it’s a year and a half later and Leviton stands to benefit handsomely from a bill to eliminate taxes the company pays to import an outlet it makes in China.This, of course, is very different from what Trump promised.
Leviton ostensibly qualified through a loophole in the Miscellaneous Tariff Act Bill that allows for exceptions to the for finished products… provided there are no competing U.S. manufacturers. The problem is the reason Leviton qualifies is that they already shut down 4 factories here in the U.S. between 2005-2013.
So it follows that other companies, which have already outsourced manufacturing will be able to follow suit and also be excepted from the new tariffs put in place in order to combat outsourcing.