Americans should be pleased with the progress President Trump is making in trade talks with China. The voters who will decide the 2020 election are honest hardworking folks who want to keep the economy humming and bring more jobs back to their hometowns. While Democrats in Washington focus on attacking President Trump, our commander in chief is fighting hard for the forgotten men and women of America.
A key reason for President Trump’s success is his devotion to American workers and their families. Misguided trade deals and globalization have decimated American jobs and left America vulnerable. One example is the U.S. fabricated structural steel industry. A surge of unfairly traded imports has put this industry, and the good-paying manufacturing jobs its supports, at risk. Many of our nation’s critical infrastructure and other marquee projects are now built with foreign fabricated steel, while our own capabilities to build domestic infrastructure are passed over.
As governor of Wisconsin, I witnessed firsthand the effects of unfair trade deals. I set out to lower taxes and slash regulations to put money back into people’s pockets and create job growth. To a large degree, I was successful. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is below the national average and more families are thriving. But with the Obama administration’s big government, pro-globalization agenda, there was only so much I could do to bring back manufacturing jobs. Despite promising hope and change, when President Obama left office, Wisconsin and the rest of the country were stuck in neutral.
It was little wonder then that President Trump won Wisconsin and other Midwestern states in 2016. Democrats offered lip service and took the voters here for granted. President Trump offered something different.
In my home state of Wisconsin, 5,100 workers are directly employed by our local fabricated structural steel industry, which supports more than 115,000 jobs nationwide. That is on top of hundreds of thousands of additional Americans who are indirectly employed by the fabricated steel industry. As a candidate, President Trump recognized how important these jobs were to American workers and pledged to revitalize the entire steel supply chain. In return, workers in Wisconsin and around the country delivered one of the greatest electoral victories ever. However, China, Mexico and Canada are cheating the system through unfair trade practices, and Wisconsin families are feeling the pain.
Foreign fabricators have dumped millions of tons of steel in American ports for years, crippling America’s industrial potential. China has been the worst offender. In the past decade, Chinese fabricated structural steel production has skyrocketed and much of that has ended up on American shores. But we expect cheating from the Chinese. What we should not have to weather is the same behavior from our allies in Mexico and Canada. A flood of unfairly traded imports from all three countries has created a lopsided, unfair marketplace that is hurting 115,000 hard-working Americans and their families.
As a result, the industry has filed trade remedy cases, asking the Trump Administration to level the playing field. If the Administration doesn’t act, these fabricated steel jobs will soon be lost, with devastating effects on small rural communities. By cracking down on countries that cheat and standing with workers and steel fabricators, President Trump will usher in a new chapter of American prosperity for these workers and their families. Our manufacturers are the best in the world and can compete with anyone in the world on a level playing field.
President Trump’s “America first” trade policy looks out for the little guy. These are the policies that matter to Americans. Voters here in Wisconsin and across our country don’t care about the Beltway politics being played by the Democrats. They care about their friends and family getting good paying jobs.
I believe that if President Trump continues to stand with American manufacturing workers and families in the fabricated structural steel industry, these workers will come out in force and reelect the president in November 2020.
Standing with American workers and their families will once again net President Trump big wins in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. After decades of unfair and ineffective policies, these workers now have a reason to hope. Let’s stand strong with American fabricated structural steel workers in Wisconsin and across our country. Fabricated structural steel will build the next American century and will be yet another win in President Trump’s legacy of Making America Great Again.
Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011-19 and launched a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He is the president-elect of Young America’s Foundation.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.