Is Obamacare Already Dead? | Mother Jones

Must-Read: 80,000 people in and around Columbus, IN. 8,000 working at Cummins Inc.--if Cummins Inc. were to vanish tomorrow and if Columbus found no alternative products to export from its region, the whole place would literally dry up and blow away. And Cummins depends on its place in its global value chains: a trade war would destroy that place, and the stronger dollar likely to result from Trump's tax cuts for the rich would destabilize that place:

Saahil Desai: Trump’s Trade Policies Could Crush Mike Pence’s Hometown: "Columbus [IN]... an unemployment rate of 2.9 percent—the lowest in the state—and the country’s highest concentration of mechanical engineers...

...Cummins Inc. is the single biggest reason why such a large percentage of Columbus’s economic output is generated from exports. The Fortune 200 company... manufactures diesel engines... does business in 190 countries employs more than 8,000 people... anchors the local economy. Overwhelmingly, Columbus is Cummins, and Cummins is Columbus.... With investment from Cummins, Columbus has quietly emerged as a destination for world-renowned modernist and contemporary architecture... the legacy of former Cummins executive J. Irwin Miller, who envisioned breathtaking architecture and dazzling public art as way to draw top workers to Columbus in the 1950s.

“Cummins was having a hard time attracting professionals, and engineers especially, to come and live in the middle of cornfields in Southern Indiana—which frankly is a problem that Cummins is still combating today,” said Erin Hawkins, director of marketing at the Columbus Area Visitors Center. “You know, in small town Indiana, it’s tough to compete with big cities for college grads.” Miller pledged to pay the architect fees for any tax-funded, public building, as long as the city picked from a pre-selected list of architects, a promise that eventually evolved into the Cummins Foundation Architecture Program....

For companies in Columbus like Cummins that are reliant on trade, having a native son in the Vice Presidency may not end up being a cause for celebration. Jon Mills, a spokesman for Cummins, said the company has already had conversations with officials in the Trump administration to reiterate the importance of free trade to the health of the company. “It’s not just about our company, but we have twenty-five direct U.S. suppliers that we have ripple effects on as well,” Mills said. “It’s really important.”...

Trump often stresses the need for America to “start winning again.” But trade, unlike reality television, isn’t zero sum.... If Trump decides to impose import tariffs in an attempt to advantage American manufacturing, that could lead to a trade war that cripples Cummins’s ability to ship its diesel engines abroad.... Whether the Vice President will indeed represent the interests of his home town remains to be seen.

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