In a memorable scene in the Broadway classic “Fiddler on the Roof,” a beggar approaches a man who regularly provides him with handouts. When the man reports he had a bad week and earned little, the beggar retorts, “So, if you had a bad week, why should I suffer?”
Thoughts of that scene were triggered by an Associated Press story Friday carried by media outlets far and wide. The story outlined just how terrible President-elect Donald Trump will be for jobs … for Mexicans.
Mexican reporter Christopher Sherman wrote the story for The AP, and high-profile outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, the Chicago Tribune, and Business Insider all ran the story, alongside countless smaller news organizations nationwide.
The piece shares stories of Mexicans upset with decisions by Ford and Carrier, which recently announced investments in U.S.-based plants in lieu of planned investments in Mexico. Ford announced it would cancel a $1.6 billion car plant investment in the northern part of Mexico.
The proposed plant would have hired 2,800 Mexicans, and the resulting economic boost would have added 10,000 jobs to the region, according to the report.
“They told us that it was a market issue — the issue that the Ford Focus that was the vehicle they thought to build, this light vehicle they planned to build in San Luis Potosi, they say the demand had dropped,” Economic Development Secretary Gustavo Puente Orozco told The AP about the cancellation.
Puente told Sherman he learned about the cancellation only an hour before the company made the announcement Tuesday.
“When I saw it on the phone, [I thought], ‘Well, no, it can’t be,’” a security guard at the proposed construction site told Sherman. “It was on orders of Mr. Trump.”
Another business owner in the region reported the decision was completely unexpected. “It hit us like a bucket of cold water,” Rosales said. “Everyone here was hoping for a lot of growth in the state and this region, too.”
Other Mexicans hoping to work at the factory voiced their opposition to Trump’s policies in the U.S., “This Trump, he doesn’t want people there, so where is he going to send them?” Construction worker J. Refugio Waldo Contreras asked. “And he doesn’t want work to open here? So then he’s going to close the doors.”
The Mexican citizens quoted in the story would all have benefited from lost American jobs, had the proposed plant been fully built in Mexico. The first headline that Business Insider ran was very sympathetic to the dejected worker concerns; “‘It hit us like a bucket of cold water’: Ford’s plant cancellation leaves Mexicans wondering about their jobs.”
News outlets changed the headline to a somewhat more neutral “Mexican Ford Plant Workers Blame Trump For Dashed Dreams.”
This report, by Phillip Stucky, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.