OPINION | Barry Richard: Trump Right to Demand Fair Trade
The Canadians and the Germans are upset because the American worker wants his or her job back. Too bad.
The American economy is still the most powerful economy on the planet and it is expanding rapidly, thanks to the economic policies of the Trump Administration. Part of the reason for that growth is the promise of then-candidate Trump to renegotiate old one-sided trade agreements that resulted in millions of lost jobs and whopping trade deficits here at home.
Anyone who has been around for more than a few decades can remember when America was the manufacturing hub of the universe. American cars, steel, appliances and technology were second to none. American farmers fed the world.
My generation watched as once proud industrial cities such as Detroit, Pittsburgh, New Bedford and many others watched their jobs slip south. And then, south of the border, and eventually overseas. Cars made in foreign markets became less expensive than those made right here at home, and our steel mills were shuttered as we imported cheaper steel from somewhere else. New Bedford garments and shoes are now made elsewhere.
Our family farms suffered and eventually folded, or were swallowed up by corporate farms.
When you fret that our "friends" in the G7 are upset with us because of Trump's tough stand, just remember it's not about being the most popular kid in the lunchroom. It's about putting America and American workers first again. A strong American economy means jobs for this and future generations. But trade policies have got to be fair, so that we don't suffer a disadvantage with our trading partners.
Trump is right. Our trading partners know that, and have gotten away with a lot at our expense. Just like when Trump demanded last year that NATO allies begin paying their fair share of the cost of defending the free world, he is now calling on them to negotiate trade deals that are fair for American workers--or find someone else to do business with.
It's that simple.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.