Last Friday, President Trump unveiled his grand strategy for American prosperity: the 2019 Trade Policy Agenda. This forward-looking report from the US Trade Representative maps out America’s deliverance from the bad deals, weak guardrails and sluggish growth that have handicapped decades of international trade.
On Jan. 20, 2017, the Trump administration inherited a broken global trade system in which overseas competitors and governments stole our technology, unfairly subsidized national champions and dumped their products into our markets. US multinationals responded by offshoring jobs and leaving good workers and American manufacturing strongholds in the lurch. After China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, it failed to fully abide by WTO rules and the damage grew. The US would subsequently shutter over 70,000 factories and lose millions of manufacturing jobs.
In its first two years, the Trump administration has rapidly turned this situation around.
The International Trade Commission has more than doubled its investigations of foreign subsidies harming American firms compared to President Barack Obama’s final two years. As a result of these investigations, the United States has imposed tariffs on targeted agricultural and manufactured goods to offset unfair trade practices even as President Trump has taken bold action to protect America’s steel and aluminum producers in the interests of national security.
The ongoing China negotiations likewise show that the administration’s trade strategy is highly effective in encouraging countries to address their most egregious trade practices.
The new United States Mexico Canada Agreement will improve copyright and patent protections for US companies and entrepreneurs while encouraging auto manufacturers to shift production to the United States. Ford, Fiat Chrysler, and Volkswagen have all expanded their production in the United States in anticipation of USMCA passage.
The results are undeniable: Last year, the United States created 284,000 new manufacturing jobs, the largest increase in 21 years. Today, our nation is growing faster than any other G-7 country and generating new opportunities for America’s blue-collar workers and middle-class families who have too often been left behind.