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Trump trade deals
By Dr. Robert Owens
President Trump campaigned on his ability to revoke, revise, or replace the bewildering myriad of trade deals previous administrations negotiated which worked primarily to the benefit of everyone except US. Finally, after twenty-eight years of politicians selling American workers and entrepreneurs out President Trump is putting America first.
A case in point:
After dragging their feet and the nation through their impeachment/election campaign ploy the House recently passed the United States Canada Mexico Agreement (USMCA). The Senate quickly followed suit and President Trump signed the new and improved trade deal replacing the job killing NAFTA. This is the upgrade 21st-century America needs.
This is such an obvious improvement that even normally virulently anti-Trump labor leaders led by the AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka have come out in support of the new deal. In an op-ed for CNN Trumpka said, “Because of our patience and perseverance, the USMCA now includes strong labor rights and a viable mechanism to enforce them. … We also secured a separate enforcement mechanism that allows for inspections of factories and facilities that don’t live up to their obligations. This was an important priority for the labor movement because it ensures that working people in all three countries have greater protections under this new agreement. … The deal isn’t perfect, but that it is a far cry from the original NAFTA, and that is a huge win for working people in North America.”
United Steelworkers President Thomas Conway said, “The revised deal is better than the original USMCA and certainly better than NAFTA. It should be adopted. The leaders of all three countries must diligently enforce the provisions, however, and we intend to hold them accountable to ensure that workers, the environment and consumers are protected. … Outsourcing won’t end as companies continue to search the globe for places where they can profit off of the hard work of others, spoil the environment to improve their balance sheets and raise prices for basic needs. The fight for fair trade won’t end with this agreement, but it’s an agreement worth passing.”
And it isn’t just labor leaders expressing their appreciation for the types of trade deals President Trump is working to secure, which replace the giveaways previous administrations imposed on us that transfers American wealth overseas.
Lori Wallach of the left-wing Public Citizen organization which tracks globalization’s impact on American workers, referred to USMCA saying, “It sets the floor from which we will fight for good trade policies that put working people and the planet first.” When comparing Trump’s USMCA to former President Obama’s failed Trans Pacific-Partnership (TPP) Wallach said, “The unusually large, bipartisan vote on the revised [USMCA] shows that to be politically viable, U.S. trade pacts no longer can include extreme corporate investor privileges or broad monopoly protections for Big Pharma and must have enforceable labor and environmental standards, in contrast to the 2016 Trans-Pacific Partnership, which never got close to majority House support.”
Breitbart News sums up the situation this way, “Decades-long free trade deals, NAFTA, and China’s entering the World Trade Organization (WTO) eliminated about five million American manufacturing jobs and 50,000 U.S. manufacturing plants since 1994. American manufacturing is vital to the U.S. economy, as every manufacturing job supports an additional 7.4 American jobs in other industries.”
John Binder of Breitbart added, “Free trade advocates, such [as] former Vice President Joe Biden, claimed at the time that NAFTA would create a million U.S. manufacturing jobs in the first five years. Instead, nearly a million American jobs have been certified by the federal government as being lost directly due to NAFTA, according to data gathered by Public Citizen. These are only the U.S. jobs that the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program recognizes as being lost to free trade and does not indicate the actual number of jobs lost.”
Moving from the general to the specific let’s look at an example of how one American entrepreneur looked at the USMCA agreement and why he thought it was so vital to his industry and his state.
Before the passage of USMCA Jason Wilburn, president of Foerster Instruments, a manufacturer of equipment for the nondestructive testing of materials and components, along with other manufacturers from around the country converged on Washington to tell lawmakers to support and ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. In an editorial published on Triblive.com Wilbur stated, “Just like the unseen parts used to make automobiles and airplanes work, the contributions of the Keystone State are often experienced — even if not always seen — every day around the world. The products manufactured in Pennsylvania help make the world function, but all of that could slow down if a critical trade agreement with our North American neighbors is not approved by Congress.”
While saying previous agreements providing for free trade throughout North America have been beneficial Wilburn added, “NAFTA is now more than 25 years old and in need of an update. That’s why the leaders of the U.S., Canada and Mexico negotiated a new and modern agreement to replace it.” He went on to “explain the importance of tariff-free trade to my business and how the USMCA would build on previous trade deals and provide less onerous requirements to ship manufactured goods to our North American neighbors.” In addition, the small manufacturer from Pennsylvania made this ringing cry for a level playing field, “that, without tariff-free trade across North America protected by a strong trade agreement, our state’s manufactured exports to Canada and Mexico could be hit with as much as $1.7 billion in extra taxes. Costs like that are enough to devastate any business. As a result, many of Pennsylvania’s manufacturers and the workers and communities they support would lose sales as competitors from Europe and Asia swoop in on our missed opportunity, steal our business and, along with it, the American dream.”
Ending his well-stated and impassioned plea for the passage of USMCA as the House dithered away the year in its relentless efforts to impeach President Trump Mr. Wilburn wrote this, “We need to cut the red tape and the arduous regulations that make it harder to do business. The USMCA does this for small manufacturers. If the USMCA is ratified, businesses like mine will be able to continue doing what we do best: create highly sophisticated components and provide constant innovations in products to our global customers. That’s good for Pennsylvania and it’s good for our country.”
And there you have it. President Trump works tirelessly to make America great again. Now it’s up to us to see through the fog machine of artificial scandals and baseless charges and cast our votes to keep America great.
Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2020 Contact Dr. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens