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Current Trade Deficit: Opinion
Editorial updates from the research staff at USBIC:
Kevin L. Kearns, 2/9/2017

Wait for it. Here comes the Tokyo delegation — with lots of shiny trinkets and flattering words for President Donald Trump. Yes, Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is coming to the White House on Friday to present a five-point plan explaining how his county can work with the United States to generate 700,000 new U.S. jobs, along with new markets worth $450 billion over the next decade. Abe is so enamored with America that he’s flying across the Pacific to ensure our continued industrial success for many years to come. What a guy — willing to bail us out!


Kevin L. Kearns
Kevin L. Kearns, 2/9/2017

As President Trump prepares to welcome Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for White House talks, domestic manufacturers are spotlighting Tokyo’s longstanding practice of currency manipulation and other trade barriers. The U.S. Business and Industry Council (USBIC), which represents smaller domestic producers, has launched a series of “Brick Wall” ads in Beltway media outlets. The ad campaign urges President Trump to take a hard line on Japan’s ongoing currency cheating before considering any new trade deals.


Kevin L. Kearns
Kevin L. Kearns, 1/26/2017

The New York Times certainly loves the globalist agenda. In a misleading infographic, they recently touted the benefits that America gains from its military defense of Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. The Times has, of course, bristled at president-elect Donald Trump’s questioning of “what America puts in and gets out of global alliances.” And so, reporters Max Fisher and Sergio Pecanha offered a seemingly data-driven counter-assessment of U.S. military spending throughout the world—an obvious rebuke of the incoming president’s questioning of “internationalism.”


Kevin L. Kearns
More Opinion
Kevin L. Kearns, 1/19/2017
The global economic community got a news flash from Switzerland this week: China is the leading defender of global open markets and the global trading system — according to President Xi Jinping and the media echo chamber covering his speech. Pay no attention to Beijing’s many negative actions and attributes, folks. Please ignore the dictatorial one-party rule, the wanton disregard for human rights, the jailing of all political opponents, the squelching of independent labor unions. Overlook the egregious violations of International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization obligations, including flagrant government intervention in markets, manipulation of currency, subsidization of industries, and dumping of a wide range of industrial products — including steel — on world markets.
Kevin L. Kearns, 12/26/2016
On the campaign trail this year, Donald Trump repeatedly cited the roughly $800 billion goods trade deficit that the U.S. racked up in 2015. It’s a stunning figure, to be sure — and one that accurately depicts the continued hemorrhage of American wealth and productivity as more and more of the nation’s working- and middle-class jobs disappear, and manufacturing establishments shut down or move overseas.
Kevin L. Kearns, 12/23/2016
The all-important U.S. manufacturing sector is beset by a number of critical problems — particularly adversarial foreign practices. And while Donald Trump, the president-elect, campaigned on a loose platform of saving U.S. manufacturing jobs, halting outsourcing, renegotiating trade deals, and stopping trade cheating, the simple fact is that reversing the nation’s industrial decline will take a herculean effort, beginning with the adoption of a comprehensive national industry-technology plan.
Kevin L. Kearns, 12/19/2016
“Oh, no, a trade war,” moaned the Republican establishment for the umpteenth time recently, as Donald Trump suggested a 35 percent tariffs on goods made in U.S. factories that have moved offshore. “Tariffs?” it seemed to ask. “You’ll start a trade war…destroy global supply chains…hurt the very American companies and workers you want to help…The sky is falling!”
Kevin L. Kearns, 11/22/2016
As the Trump transition team works to determine the top priorities for the new administration, a very serious problem requires the immediate attention of the new president: the future of our manufacturing industry. A healthy manufacturing base is critical to America's survival, both militarily and economically. Yet China poses a significant threat to our nation's all important manufacturing sector.
Kevin Kearns, president of the U.S. Business and Industry Council, said tax reform, health care, and spending projects on roads, bridges, and other projects seem destined to crowd out trade as part of Trump's first 100 days. But Trump, who won on the strength of voters in Democratic-leaning, blue-collar counties in the industrial Midwest, will be under pressure not to let the issue drop. Kearns said he expects the new president to take up NAFTA in the first six months. "I do think there's going to be some sort of renegotiation," he said. "The question is: How good will it be, and will it benefit the U.S. economy?"
Kevin L. Kearns, 11/11/2016
When Donald Trump embarks on his new trade agenda in January, he will face sustained resistance from those who opposed his primary and presidential campaigns — i.e., those whose views working Americans repudiated in the recent election. Essentially, Trump’s agenda has been criticized from the moment the Establishment realized back in March that he might actually win the primaries. There have been numerous op-eds, blogs, and TV appearances by the free-trade, status-quo crowd suggesting that Trump will destroy the U.S. and world economies if he tries to restore balance to the world trading system.
Kevin L. Kearns, 8/22/2016
Mexican President Pena Nieto unleashed a real surprise this week when he offered to meet with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. It was a potentially wise change-of-heart for the Mexican leader. Nieto has previously said some unpleasant things about Trump, but he now seems willing to acknowledge Trump as the official GOP standard bearer. A Trump-Pena Nieto meeting, which could be totally private — with no press allowed, to prevent grandstanding by either side — might hand Trump a terrific (and possibly game-changing) opportunity to demonstrate statesmanship while boosting his standing among Latinos and other voters. Additionally, there are also surprising reasons why it would behoove Pena Nieto to forge more positive relations with his potential counterpart.
Kevin L. Kearns, 8/1/2016
Clinton campaign manager John Podesta told reporters earlier this week that Hillary Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine are “against the TPP before the election and against the TPP after the election.” Podesta was trying to allay the concerns of Sanders supporters, along with many others in the Democratic base, that Clinton, would follow in the footsteps of her husband if elected this November, and press for passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other free trade deals.
Kevin L. Kearns, 8/1/2016
Free trade not only cures cancer but also prevents aging! That should have been the lede of Douglas E. Schoen’s Fox News op-ed this week explaining his boundless, fact-challenged enthusiasm for free trade. If one believes Schoen, free trade and the global institutions supporting it are the wellspring of American exceptionalism and economic growth. Unfortunately, the opposite is generally the case. Free trade has hollowed out our economy and middle class, rather than supporting them.