Today’s News & Commentary — July 31, 2017
This morning, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly assumed his new position as President Trump’s chief of staff. It remains unclear who will replace Kelly as the new DHS Secretary. Sources suggest that the leading candidate is Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the current chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Whoever is chosen will play the leading Cabinet role in defending some of the most controversial parts of President Trump’s agenda, namely, the border wall and the travel ban. In the meantime, Elaine Duke is the new acting DHS Secretary.
On Friday, the office of U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May clarified that with Brexit in March 2019, free movement between the United Kingdom and the EU would come to an end. Chancellor Philip Hammond conceded that U.K. immigration policy since the Brexit vote in 2016 has been relatively unchanged, and will be unchanged throughout the three-year transition period. Nonetheless, some Cabinet members have expressed frustration with the lack of change. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox expressed that allowing immigration to remain unregulated until 2019 is a “betrayal” of the referendum result. Chancellor Hammond also announced last week that the registration system for migrants for when March 2019 comes had been set out by the U.K. government.
Workers at Goodyear reached a tentative agreement on a five-year labor contract on Friday. The agreement covers nearly 7000 workers across five plants, those in Akron, Ohio; Danville, Va.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Gadsden, Ala.; and Topeka, Kan. The local chapters of United Steelworkers, which negotiated the contract, will hold their ratification votes over the next few weeks.
Over the weekend, the New York Times published two articles on changes to the labor market in two countries. The first concerns Spain’s long road to economic recovery from the Eurozone crisis. The article describes signs of recovery that have arisen after a decade of crisis—new businesses opening up, workers going back to their jobs—and the difficult process Spain’s government, cities, and citizens went through to get to that point. Though conditions are improving, neither politicians nor economists can agree as to why. Austerity and the relaxation of labor law are credited with both enabling the recovery and unnecessarily delaying it. The second article concerns the rise of domestic tech outsourcing in the United States. Major outsourcing companies like Infosys, and smaller upstarts like Nexient, are hiring U.S. workers in lieu of Indian workers as a result of changes in the nature of the tech services needed and the rising cost of labor in India.