Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the U.S. is “headed in the wrong direction,” reportedly because of what President-elect Donald Trump promises to do while in office.
Opposition to free trade agreements is a centerpiece of Trump’s presidential campaign, which is potentially interesting, since free trade agreements are long a key component of the Republican Party platform. The president-elect promised the U.S. would renegotiate, or completely withdraw from, nearly every trade deal the nation has struck in the past century. Trump plans to “immediately renegotiate the terms,” of NAFTA, and if nations “don’t agree to a renegotiation,” the U.S. will “withdraw from the deal,” altogether. The president-elect also promises to take a hard stance against China, and to “withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
Bloomberg thinks that direction Trump and his proposed cabinet members will lead the nation is downright “wrong.” “This country wants to cut back on world trade,” but to do so would mean “going in the wrong direction,” Bloomberg said at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning. The former mayor admits that Trump is correct in his assessment that Americans are losing jobs, but he disagrees as to why. While Trump thinks that Americans are losing jobs because of globalization, Bloomberg says that: “it is technology that is reducing jobs, it is not globalization.”
If we want to create more jobs, we need not look towards isolationism or follow anti-free trade rhetoric, we need to look to the larger global economy, according to Bloomberg. If we rip up trade deals, isolate ourselves, and “stop dealing around the world,” then we are “just not going to have a future,” Bloomberg says.
The former mayor’s comments are not out of the blue. Bloomberg has voiced free trade-oriented beliefs for some time. In an Op-Ed for the Financial Times in 2007, Bloomberg wrote that: “countries that run away from globalization– as with those that ran away from capitalism in the 20th century – will pay a heavy price for decades to come.” If America is to remain the world’s economic superpower, “it must capitalize on the opportunities and confront the challenges,” Bloomberg argued.
In more than one area, including trade policy, Bloomberg has a history of telling the American people what is best for them — even funneling millions into two California campaigns promoting discriminatory taxes against soda sold in Bay Area grocery stores, taxes modeled after his own failed soda tax.
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