Realizing Why Trump Won Beyond the ‘Blue Wall’
By Dan Murphy
Yonkers resident Frank Spotorno has been trying to get Americans to focus on the fact that 25 years after the creation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and other so-called “free trade” agreements, 50,000 American factories and 8 million manufacturing jobs have been outsourced to China and Mexico.
Spotorno, the founder of Bringourjobshome.com, a website that highlights the issue of outsourcing jobs, ran for Congress this fall in the Queens neighborhood where his elevator manufacturing business is located. Running as a Republican in a Democratic-heavy New York City, Spotorno lost to Congressman Joe Crowley.
While Spotorno’s message about bringing jobs home did not resonate with NYC voters, or the NYC media, he takes solace in the fact that Donald Trump was elected president. And if you ask Spotorno why Trump won, his one-word answer is: Jobs!
“Here in New York, we live behind the ‘Blue Wall’ of Democrats winning all the time and every time,” he said. “We have Wall Street, and the tourism industry in New York City, and the suburbs to fuel our economy and create jobs. But if you travel 100 miles north of New York City, you have upstate towns and cities that are becoming wastelands because the factories have moved out and the jobs are gone.
“The states that carried Trump to the presidency – Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania – are three states that have the same problem as upstate New York: Manufacturing jobs and factories were outsourced and nothing came in to replace them. Americans voted for Trump because of his message of bringing the jobs home, and that’s my message and something I’ve wanted our country to focus on for 20 years. While I’m disappointed I didn’t win my race for Congress, I’m glad the issue is now front and center. We lost the battle but with President Trump, we are winning the war for American jobs.”
Days after winning the election, President-Elect Trump was on the phone with CEOs from Apple, Microsoft, Ford and Carrier, discussing outsourcing and the possibility of bringing some of their jobs back to the USA. The result was Ford’s decision to keep its car plant in Kentucky open, and Carrier’s decision to keep 1,100 manufacturing jobs in Indiana, instead of closing its plant and outsourcing all its jobs to Mexico.
“If Hillary Clinton won the presidency and cut the same deal to keep 1,100 American jobs, the media would be rejoicing,” said Spotorno. “Trump is doing what he said he would do during the campaign; he is keeping his word and it’s already paying off… To minimize the 1,100 jobs is also a mistake, because it’s actually 6,000 ancillary jobs that will be created or preserved because Carrier is staying. The local deli, dry cleaner, hardware store, restaurants – all of those jobs and small businesses were saved.”
In 2008, President Barack Obama bailed out the American automobile industry at a cost of $25 billion, saving 800,000 jobs.
“I applaud the president’s decision to save the American auto industry and the good-paying union jobs that were preserved,” said Spotorno. “But after that, President Obama had little to say about the loss of manufacturing jobs in the Midwest and here in upstate New York. In fact, his comments were, ‘Some of those jobs of the past are just not going to come back.’ I hope President Trump proves those comments to be false.
“Job training for most Americans doesn’t work. It doesn’t pay the mortgage or put food on the table. The 90 million Americans that are out of the workforce voted for jobs Nov. 8, and they voted for Trump. Not because of racism, or because of the alt-right – they voted for jobs… We spend $20 billion on federal job retraining programs. Let’s use some of that money to bring our corporations, and jobs, back to America and put people back to work now.
“The free, positive publicity that Carrier is getting from its decision to make (products) in the USA is an example of what can happen with other American companies,” continued Spotorno. “They can receive positive publicity if they keep their jobs here or resource jobs back home, but they can also receive negative publicity if they outsource jobs and turn their backs on their own workers. That is what bringourjobshome.com is all about. We want to highlight American companies doing the right thing and encourage a ‘buy American’ movement. Many companies watched what happened with Carrier. Next year we will have a ‘buy American’ president.”
In 2008, after orders for new elevators came to a halt, Spotorno downsized his manufacturing business and drove across the country. He saw the empty plants and factories and towns that had closed for business. That trip resulted in his bringourjobshome.com movement, which helped Trump win the presidency.
“I look forward to taking that same trip across American in eight years and seeing those same factories open again,” he said.
Spotorno now plans on traveling across upstate New York to meet with local officials, union leaders and residents, in the hopes of finding a corporation willing to come back to the USA and New York, and re-open the factory or manufacturing plants across the north country of New York.
“We need a Trump in New York State to call for jobs and corporations to move here,” he said. “One thousand jobs in upstate New York would make a huge difference to a city like Massena, on the Canadian border. Twenty years ago, Massena had a GM plant, an Alcoa plant and a Reynolds plant. Now, only half the Alcoa plant is left.
“Because of Trump, and Carrier, 1,000 families in Indiana have money to buy Christmas gifts, and pay their mortgage, and continue to live the American dream. Try to put yourself in their shoes for a minute, even though we live behind the ‘Blue Wall’ in Democratic New York,” added Spotorno, who did have one critique of President-Elect Trump:
“He needs to set an example and make his ties and shirts here in America, and move them here immediately. I can find him a good plant with great workers in upstate New York.”