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Mr. Trump, You are Wrong on Trade


Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)
This week, Mr. Trump vowed to repudiate major bipartisan trade agreements signed by Republican and Democratic presidents and approved by Congress. The agreements dramatically cut tariffs for U.S. exporters and marginally cut tariffs for importers that have benefited the U.S. industry and consumers greatly.
 
Mr. Trump may not realize that 95 percent of the world's consumers live outside the U.S. The factory jobs upon which he is basing his protectionist trade policies are low paying and in most cases jobs are created in R&D and innovation, particularly because of advances in technology, are much higher paying and provide more desirable employment. Mr. Trump would be better focused on highly skilled jobs and training.

Trump decries trade, yet so many of his namesake businesses rely on trade. Whether it's steaks, vodka, construction or apparel, Trump can't run his enterprise if we restrict free trade.
 
Building walls, raising tariffs and implementing domestic manufacturing requirements are destructive isolationist policies, which will eliminate American businesses and triple prices to consumers for many everyday items. This brand of populism relies on convincing Americans that unilaterally breaching agreements and imposing walls and tariffs will somehow make us better when in fact it will lead to retaliation and depression as it did with Smoot-Hawley. Our American way of life and standard of living benefit from and rely on trade.
 
Donald Trump should stop his trade oxymorons and outline a trade agenda that removes barriers to innovation and exports. He should start by offering to negotiate a mutual trade agreement with Great Britain as they are among our closest allies and need our support.
 

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