Trade agreements have not been “free trade” and have not been successful for America. There is always a balancing act. Cheap products and loss of family wage manufacturing jobs or strong growth in family wage manufacturing jobs and a somewhat higher cost for the products.
I would take the latter over the former anytime.
President Donald Trump obviously believes that to be the case and has expressed that view since the campaign. People seem to forget the devastation in the “Rust Belt” in terms of jobs, and that is precisely why Donald Trump was elected. The mainstream media on the 2 costs seem to think their view of this nation and the world is what drives policy.
It is simply not so. The underlying corruption of our trade agreements has been wide and deep. China is the primary culprit. When we placed certain taxes on Chinese steel, they simply sold the same steel they manufactured for United States consumption through third party countries. These countries had no assessments against them, so the Chinese would pay a fee to those countries and sell steel by dumping it in the United States, and still make its profit.
We cannot compete with the cheap labor available to the Chinese-owned steel companies. George W. Bush did implement tariffs. It turned out to be less than effective and we need strong policy execution to give our own steel and aluminum companies a chance to be successful on an even playing field.
With all of the inflammatory conversation from opponents of these tariffs, where have they been for decades while our once behemoth steel industry has withered to a mere shadow of what it was? They showed absolutely no concern for the lost jobs.
We hear little or nothing from so-called passionate legislators about the plight American families have faced as a result of these trade agreements. They are more concerned about the political contributions from the very companies who benefit from the cheap labor by having moved to Asia, Mexico and elsewhere.
And, make no mistake about it. These agreements are not free trade in any way. They are called that because words have power and it sounds sensible. It is not. Free trade can be summarized in one sentence, not thousands of pages: Every country has the right to enter a trade agreement with any other country on terms that are acceptable to both sovereign nations.
The real battle is the global economy advocates versus the America first supporters. President Trump has clearly demonstrated that he cares about America first and that will be his mantra when making trade policy.
The premise of these tariffs is simple. We are going to grow important manufacturing jobs in the steel industry to bring us back to a level in which our own citizens will be earning incomes that will facilitate the growth of the overall economy and other industries will grow their productivity and jobs as well.
So, ask yourself the question, do you want to have the possibility of a $10000 annual salary increase or perhaps have a productive job that you did not have before, while paying an extra $500 or $1000 for a new car? The answer is obvious and the President is implementing a policy that will have the real potential of creating this substantial growth in our economy by increasing our job growth.
We now have the lowest level of new unemployment applications this month since 1969. He has clearly been doing a great deal right.
The tariffs are the next right step for this country to show that we will no longer be the dumping ground for steel, aluminum, solar panels, dish washers or any other products. The western Europeans, Canada, Mexico and especially China have been sycophants feeding off the United States vast economy. That economy has been compromised by this process of taking our jobs and dumping their products in this country
President Trump has said loudly and clearly that those days are over.
This is another promise kept by a president with a remarkable record of staying on point and keeping his promises. I would ask the mainstream media: Does that sound like chaos?
Mike Siegel is a notable talk radio host.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.