Donald Trump made keeping jobs in the United States and bringing back those that have gone overseas a key part of his campaign to win the White House. Since being elected, he has used his very active Twitter account to shame companies planning to take jobs out of the country and to salute those that have said they will hire more Americans. That has led to a parade of high-profile brands saying they will either keep or add jobs in the U.S.
It's important to note that many of these moves tie to plans that predate Trump's election victory and that some have nothing to do with him. In many cases, though, companies are making an effort to appease the new president (though what's real and what's political theater remains to be seen). That has led to a number of big companies making very high-profile announcements about increased domestic hiring.
What remains unknown is exactly which brands will follow through. Adding jobs in some areas does not mean that a company won't take away in others. In addition, announcing plans to hire is not the same as actually doing it. These companies, however, have all made big announcements that they plan to add U.S. jobs.
Bayer and Monsanto need merger approval
Bayer (OTC:BAYR.Y) has agreed to acquire Monsanto in a $66 million deal that requires approval from federal regulators. The CEOs of both companies met with Trump and pledged to keep existing jobs in the United States while also creating at least 3,000 more should the merger be approved, WRAL reported. The two companies even released a joint statement that read in part:
The combined company expects to spend approximately $16 billion for R&D in agriculture over the next six years with at least half of this investment made in the United States. This is an investment in innovation and people that will create several thousand new high-tech, well-paying jobs after integration is complete, jobs that will keep America at the forefront of agricultural innovation and that serve U.S. farmers by delivering better products and services faster.
Wal-Mart says it's hiring
Three days before Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) released a plan to create 10,000 retail jobs at its stores and online operations in the U.S. The chain also pointed out that it planned to open 59 new, expanded, or relocated Wal-Mart and Sam's Club facilities, which it estimates will create 24,000 construction jobs.
The company released a figuratively flag-waving press release touting its plans. It's worth noting that the vast majority, if not all, of the new/renovated/relocated stores had previously been announced.
"With a presence in thousands of communities and a vast supplier network, we know we play an important role in supporting and creating American jobs," said Dan Bartlett, Wal-Mart executive vice president for corporate affairs, in the press release. "Our 2017 plans to grow our business -- and our support for innovation in the textile industry -- will have a meaningful impact across the country."
Amazon is growing
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) recently said it plans to create more than 100,000 full-time U.S.-based jobs over the next 18 months, which would give it more than 280,000 full-time U.S.-based employees. The 100,000 is a big number -- and announcing it is likely an attempt to appease Trump, who has criticized the company's CEO, Jeff Bezos -- but it's not actually out of character for the online retailer. Amazon has created more than 150,000 jobs in the U.S. over the past five years, according to the company's press release.
"Innovation is one of our guiding principles at Amazon, and it's created hundreds of thousands of American jobs," said Bezos in the press release. "These jobs are not just in our Seattle headquarters or in Silicon Valley -- they're in our customer service network, fulfillment centers and other facilities in local communities throughout the country."
Automakers are spending
The auto industry has been particularly under fire from the incoming president because a number of companies have moved some production to Mexico. General Motors (NYSE:GM), which makes some of its cars in Mexico, has pledged to invest an added $1 billion in 2017 in its U.S. factories on top of the $2.9 billion it announced last year.
This will include bringing back some parts manufacturing that had previously been handled by a supplier. The company said the added $1 billion in spending will equate to saving or retaining 1,500 jobs.
Hyundai (OTC:HYMLF)has also committed to increasing its spending in the U.S. The company plans to increase its investment in the U.S. by 50% to $3.1 billion over five years and it may build a new plant, according to a Reuters story. The company did not say how many jobs its planned spending would create. Toyota, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler also have U.S. investment plans which cite big dollars, but offer few specifics on actual hiring.
Sprint/Softbank make job claims
Sprint (NYSE:S) and its parent company, SoftBank (OTC:SFTBF), have committed to adding jobs in the U.S. SoftBank has said it will invest $50 billion in the United States and create 50,000 jobs over four years. Sprint said in a recent press release that it will create or bring back 5,000 jobs to the U.S., but details for both arrangements remain in the planning stages.
Trump has taken credit for SoftBank's efforts, tweeting that its CEO, Masayoshi Son, had said he "would never do this had we (Trump) not won the election!" [Parenthetical in tweet.] The Washington Post called that a dubious claim, noting that SoftBank had announced its plans for a technology investment fund of up to $100 billion in October, about three weeks before the election.
This latest $50 billion pledge comes from that fund, which SoftBank has committed at least $25 billion of its own money to. Saudi Arabia's sovereign-wealth fund will contribute up to $45 billion and an additional $30 billion will come from other investors, according to the paper. It's not clear if these funds will be used to pay for Sprint's planned hiring/repatriation of jobs.