Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released the following statement in response to Federal Reserve data showing that manufacturing output declined by 13.7% in April, the largest decline on record. 

“The President has failed to lead an adequate response against the coronavirus, resulting in many more cases, deaths, and job losses and a serious recession. Manufacturing is taking a hard hit because of him. Families in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Indiana and other states where manufacturing jobs make up a disproportionate share of the labor market are going to suffer because he has refused to use the vast powers of the U.S. presidency.

“Well before the coronavirus’s impact our economy, the ‘blue collar boom’ President Trump spoke of during the State of the Union in January was really a blue collar bust. The manufacturing industry has been struggling since the beginning of 2019 and—until a few months ago—that was in large part because President Trump’s trade war with China had stymied supply chains and his tax cuts had not resulted in the pay increases he promised.

“Now manufacturing has gone from bad to worse because of President Trump’s horrible handling of a once-in-a-generation public health crisis.”

In March, JEC Democrats released a report titled “What ‘Blue Collar Boom’?” about President Trump’s counterfactual claim. The report includes detailed data about how—prior to the coronavirus—job growth had slowed in the manufacturing industry, with states that rely most heavily on the industry losing jobs and hourly earnings for typical workers (production and nonsupervisory) only increasing by 23 cents.

About Congressman Beyer

Congressman Beyer is currently serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital. In addition to his role as Vice Chair of the JEC, Beyer serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Previously, Beyer served as the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and Ambassador to Switzerland and built a successful family business over the course of four decades.