President-elect Donald Trump fired back at the Wall Street Journal editorial board after it criticized his deal to stop manufacturer Carrier from shipping several hundred jobs overseas.
Earlier this month, the editorial board characterized the deal – which will keep several hundred jobs in Indiana in exchange for a $7 million tax break, while allowing the company to outsource over a thousand jobs – as a “shakedown,” and said “America won’t become more prosperous by forcing companies to make noneconomic investments.”
“A mercantilist Trump trade policy that jeopardized those exports would throw far more Americans out of work than the relatively low-paying jobs he’s preserved for now in Indianapolis,” the editorial board wrote. “Mr. Trump’s Carrier squeeze might even cost more U.S. jobs if it makes CEOs more reluctant to build plants in the U.S. because it would be politically difficult to close them.”
In an interview with Fox News that aired on Sunday, the president-elect claimed that the Journal board didn’t understand business.
“People have said they don’t understand really what I’m doing. I read the Wall Street Journal the other day. Honestly, their editorial board doesn’t get it. I don’t think they understand business. I don’t think the Wall Street Journal editorial board, and I know some of them, they’re really nice. I don’t think they understand business,” Trump said.
Trump ignored the Journal’s claim that the small jobs savings would be offset by the rising cost of goods, reiterating his promise to level a 35% tariff on companies that outsource jobs.
“There’s a 35 percent tax, but there is no tax if you don’t move. But if you move your plant or factory and you want to sell back into our country, you fire all your people, there are going to be consequences for that. There are going to be consequences,” Trump said.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board – a conservative body traditionally in-sync with Republican politicians on economic issues – has clashed at times with the real-estate mogul’s economic proposals, particularly on international trade.
Earlier this year, one member of the board endorsed Hillary Clinton, calling Trump the candidate of “white supremacists and swastika devotees.”