POST-GAZETTE - Res Publica
Trump Trade Agenda Results in Blue-Collar Boom
by David Trumbull -- March 20, 2020
On February 28, 2020, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer delivered President Trump's Trade Policy Agenda and Annual Report to Congress, highlighting how the Administration’s aggressive trade actions have resulted in a "blue-collar boom" with higher wages, more jobs and a stronger economy for all.
Going forward, the report states that President Trump will continue to rebalance America's trade relationships to benefit American workers, aggressively enforce U.S. trade laws, and take prompt action in response to unfair trade practices by other nations.
The President achieved more trade successes over the last 12 months than prior administrations achieved in a typical decade. The result is a stronger economy, rising wages and more jobs -- including more manufacturing jobs.
While 15,000 manufacturing jobs were lost in the 12 months prior to President Trump's election, more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been added to the American economy since then.
Real median household income is now at the highest level ever recorded. Wages are growing faster for nearly all groups, but historically disadvantaged groups are seeing the fastest growth.
Wealth inequality has finally declined, as the share of net worth held by the bottom 50 percent of households has increased while the share held by the top one percent of households has decreased.
President Trump kept his promise and confronted China over its unfair trade practices, after years of little more than talk from Washington. The enforceable and historic Phase One Agreement he signed requires major structural changes by China relating to intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agricultural standards, financial services, and currency, while maintaining leverage with significant tariffs on $370 billion worth of imports from China.
President Trump kept his promise to end NAFTA by replacing it with a far better agreement -- the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The USMCA is a 21th century agreement that will lead to fairer trade and robust economic growth in North America.
The USMCA encourages U.S. manufacturing by requiring high-wage labor content for autos; strengthens supply chains to provide new market opportunities for the U.S. textile and apparel sector; provides strong protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights; includes the strongest labor provisions of any trade agreement; expands market access for American food and agricultural products; contains the strongest disciplines on digital trade of any international agreement; and makes environmental obligations fully enforceable.
The Administration's goals for the next year include:
New trade agreements with the United Kingdom, the European Union and Kenya, which would be the United States' first free trade agreement in sub-Saharan Africa.
Enforcement of commitments by our trading partners in trade agreements, including the USMCA, the China Phase One Agreement and WTO agreements.
Limiting the WTO to its original purpose of serving as a forum for nations to negotiate trade agreements, monitor compliance with agreements, and facilitate the member-driven resolution of international trade disputes.