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  • Guest Blogger: Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) On Trade Critical To US Economy

    When President Obama touches down in Pittsburgh for the G-20 Summit he has a chance to lead on trade policies that will level the playing field for American workers and small businesses.

    Trade is critical to U.S. economic growth and vital to global economic development. Trade – especially exports – has been the one bright spot in our economy over recent years, accounting at one point for nearly 60 percent of our economic growth. Forty-two percent of American jobs depend on trade, and exports account for one in every eight dollars earned by Americans last year. Yet in the midst of this severe economic downturn, U.S. exports have declined by 20 percent – marking the worst decline in U.S. exports since World War II.

    Unfortunately, President Obama has not focused on reversing this dangerous trend. Instead of moving forward on a strategy to open markets abroad to U.S.-made products, the Administration has indefinitely delayed laying out a trade agenda and has filled the void with isolationist measures. Earlier this year, the Administration and the Democrat Majority pulled the plug on a pilot program for Mexican commercial trucks without improving highway safety – causing the United States to violate our commitments and subjecting American exporters to $2.4 billion in retaliatory tariffs. Most recently, the White House announced that it will impose a union-supported 35 percent tax on Chinese tires without support from a single U.S. tire manufacturer. The impact of the new “tire tax,” effective this Saturday, will likely fall hardest on struggling American families that must now pay more for a necessity in life – with no assurance any more U.S. jobs will be created as a result. The Buy American provisions in the “stimulus” bill are contracting trade, restricting job opportunities for Americans, and clogging, rather than priming, U.S. economic recovery.

    For American companies to grow and be competitive, we need to “Sell American.” President Obama can start by asking Congress to move the pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. These agreements, which represent an immediate boost to U.S. exports, have been stalled for more than two years. And the cost of inaction only hurts American companies as other countries move into those markets, blocking U.S. access. Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee recently released analysis detailing this cost to our key export sectors as the European Union forges ahead with trade agreements with South Korea and Colombia, and Canada moves toward an agreement with Colombia.

    There is no one solution to our current economic woes, but it is clear that trade is a critical part of the solution. By increasing trade flows, we can speed the global economic recovery and create a stronger U.S. economy. President Obama can continue to sit on the sidelines of the global trade dialogue, or he can lead, starting today, and help American businesses, families, and workers thrive across our great country.

    The views expressed by guest bloggers on the Foundry do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Guest Blogger: Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) On Trade Critical To US Economy

    1. Pingback: » Financial News Update – 09/24/09 NoisyRoom.net: Where liberty dwells, there is my country…

    2. Red, Reno says:

      This sounds like NAFTA speak. NAFTA was the worst thing to happen to the middle class. "Middle Class", no one is middle class any more so most of you reading this will have to look it up on Wikipedia. How dare the US keep Mexican trucks out, we don't keep illegal Mexicans out. What's the difference; illegal Mexicans, now illegal Mexican trucks. THERE IS NO UNITED STATES OF AMERICA just a labor market call "US Labor". Unequal laws under an Unequal government, God Bless the NEW WORLD ORDER!

    3. FanOfTheFounders, TX says:

      Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Federal Reserve monetary policy plus Smoot-Hawley trade tariffs precipitated the Great Depression. I've read that Ben Bernancke is a Depression scholar, but he seems to be using his knowedge to repeat, rather than avoid, another financial collapse. Based on the actions of this administration, I conclude that they are either incompetent or intentionally attempting to ruin our economy. Unfortunately, Brady and other minority voices are completely ignored. I wonder how the unions can continue to be so short-sighted, considering a "victory" a policy which simply diverts demand to other foreign manufacturers.

    4. Craig Maxwell says:

      Obama and his group, including congress, are content with the idea of turning this country into a Liberia or Somalia! California is a good example of this and is already well on it's way!

      "We the people" will not allow this to happen, with or without their leadership…and right now, it is without.

      There is a day a com'n.

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