At a town hall event hosted by PBS in June 2016, President Obama said it was unrealistic to try to neogtiate with companies to keep jobs in the U.S. Obama was responding to a question from an empoyee of Carrier Air Conditioners, who had announced months earlier that they were closing a factory in the U.S. and moving to Mexico. Six months later, President-elect Donald Trump announced a deal with Carrier's parent company to keep the factory open:
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PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: But for those folks who have lost their job right now because a plant went down the Mexico, that isn’t going to make you feel better. And so what we have to do is to make sure that folks are trained for the jobs that are coming in now because some of those jobs of the past are just not going to come back, and when somebody says, like the person you just mentioned who I’m not going to advertise for, that he’s going to bring all these jobs back, well how exactly are you going to do that? What are you going to do?
There’s — there’s no answer to it. He just says, “Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.” Well, how — what — how exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have? And usually, the answer is he doesn’t have an answer.