In February, Wisconsin’s incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson stated that, “Obviously I am always supportive of manufacturing here in Wisconsin, but at the same time, I recognize that manufacturers have different capabilities elsewhere.”
Johnson was responding to an interview question about the plans of Oshkosh Defense to manufacture 165,000 new U.S. Postal Service trucks outside of Wisconsin, in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Johnson said he would not “insert” himself in the decision about the federally funded contract. “It’s not like we don’t have enough jobs here in Wisconsin,” he added. “The biggest problem we have in Wisconsin right now is employers not being able to find enough workers.”
Johnson’s statement, although criticized by Democrats and others, referenced Wisconsin’s widely reported labor shortage. When he made the statement in February, Wisconsin had a near-record low unemployment rate of 2.9%.
American Bridge 21st Century: Sen. Ron Johnson remarks in Richfield, WI on February 5, 2022
Senator Ron Johnson: Tweet responding to manufacturing controversy