– The New York Times
Championing the American worker was a central theme of Mr. Trump’s election campaign. He made inroads into the traditionally Democratic union vote, and echoed the words of labor leaders on themes like trade, infrastructure and offshoring jobs. That a Republican administration would nonetheless pursue a business-friendly labor policy is not unexpected. But beyond partisan politics, its record on worker issues reflects a consistent Trump worldview: that entrepreneurship is the highest economic calling and the entrepreneur is the economic actor most deserving of respect.
– The Los Angeles Times
As the United States, Canada and Mexico head for a second round of talks this weekend to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, President Trump is ramping up his bluster about simply terminating the pact instead. But many former trade negotiators and experts agree that the president’s threat to cancel NAFTA is essentially an empty one, more likely intended as a bargaining ploy.
A new Gallup poll shows public support for unions is at its highest point since 2003. But the reality is that labor unions face big challenges. Start with a tougher environment for organizing, the ongoing spread of right-to-work laws that make it harder for unions to collect dues and grow membership by allowing workers to not join the union in workplaces that are represented by a union. On top of this, the Trump White House has been anything but labor friendly so far — despite promises to bring back manufacturing jobs that date back to the earliest days of Trump’s campaign.
In policy wonk circles, there is a something of a knee-jerk reaction to a Trump proposal. The President proposed it, ergo it is a bad idea. But be careful: there are some good ones, too. Take President Trump’s recent executive order to expand “industry-recognized” apprenticeships in the United States. The initiative will nearly double annual funding for apprenticeship programs to $200 million by reducing funding to other job training programs. And unlike the border wall, Republicans aren’t trying to sweep this under the oval rug.