In the 1992 presidential debates, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the USA, Mexico, and Canada was being developed. Proponents said NAFTA would create thousands of new jobs in America. Presidential candidate H. Ross Perot said if NAFTA were implemented, we would soon hear a “giant sucking sound” as our factories quickly moved to Mexico to take advantage of low wages there.

Over the years, thousands of jobs left our country. It was cheaper to manufacture goods in Mexico, then ship them back here for less than their competitors who were still here. That caused a snowballing situation, forcing more companies to move to Mexico or go out of business.

Three years ago I worked at the Sears store in Baytown during the holiday season (October through December).  Every box of merchandise arrived with a label identifying the country of origin. Most came from Mexico, China, India, Mexico, Taiwan and Bangladesh. 

The U.S. lost 850,000 jobs from 1993 to 2013 because of NAFTA, and that number has undoubtedly risen. Eleven new automobile assembly plants were built in North America from 2009 to 2017. All but three are in Mexico – even though they all made vehicles for the U.S. market.  It’s not just manufacturing workers who are affected by the “giant sucking sound.” Families and entire communities can be devastated when workers lose jobs.

In 2018 President Trump signed a trade deal to replace NAFTA. The new trade deal is called the USMC (U.S, Mexico, Canada) deal which is still being negotiated.

Sears sold their Craftsman line of tools to Black & Decker. All Craftsman tools are now made in China. Last month I bought a new Craftsman chain saw from Home Depot. It was made in China.

Almost everything we buy now has a tag that reads “Made in China.” The tariff trade war with China is unfortunately a necessary part of Trump’s trade strategy with China because China will not negotiate fairly. The only way to get China to the bargaining table is to make it difficult to sell their cheaply made products here.

President Trump works tirelessly to level the economic playing field with other countries. We should be thankful to know that Trump has the business sense to address and correct the terribly lopsided trade deals that favor foreign countries.

Jerry L. Jones

Baytown   

(4) comments

baytownbert

As always, you are right on the money, Mr. Jones. Thank you for your accurate letter concerning Trump's intentions and our very good fortune to have a President who understands and balances trade tariffs over running a popularity contest with people who do not. Tarriff adjust was and is necessary to balance economies around the world and I give it another 3 years before ths happens. In the meantime, patient and educated voters will know to wait to draw conclusions. Anyone who doesn't is akin to person criticizing their barber during the cut. The hair cut looks all wrong until it all comes of and what is left is acceptable. Wise people know this. Unwise people use the tariff issue to attack the president, thus exposing their ignorance in world trade. Wait and see. The curmudgeons will see nothing they can grasp accurately in your letter. It will sail right over their little beady heads.


Frank

Ouch, Bert. I see you are still name calling even after being called out by Elsa. How does that fit into you pollyanna approach to life? Business sense? A guy that has declared bankruptcy 6 times has business sense?




Frank

Regarding China policy, my problem is not with the idea, but with the execution. As much as I hate to agree with Trump on anything, China needs to be confronted due to its organized thefts of intellectual property and trade policies. However, what should have happened is that instead of shooting from the hip and facing China alone, Trump should have worked with our allies to create a much larger and more effective coalition.







Why did Trump go at it alone? My first guess is that he is just lazy. It takes intelligence and a lot of work to form a coalition and Trump prefers the simplicity of presidential edicts. My second guess is that his ego demands that he alone must get the credit for confronting China. My third guess is that he doesn’t see any value in having allies.







James Mattis, recent Secretary of Defense, resigned mostly because of Trump’s ignorance of the value and importance of alliances. In part he said, "When my concrete solutions and strategic advice, especially keeping faith with allies, no longer resonated, it was time to resign.” I wonder how Trump supporters rationalize this kind of criticism. Speak up, Bert.







Because Trump’s overriding goal is to get reelected, and because the China confrontation is damaging the economy and his chances at reelection, my prediction is that Trump will cave. He will require some minimal face-saving concessions that will not serve any real purpose, and he will tell us how the deal is the greatest ever done in the history of mankind and how he is the world’s best negotiator. Sadly Trumpies like Bert and Raymond will eat it up.





Alan H

Yes we should trust King Donald The Nut's business smarts because he's filed 6-10 business bankruptcies at a cost of up to $5 billion to taxpayers. We also know Sir Trumps-alot bragged about screwing the IRS by not paying taxes. Put these together with the over 12,000 lies regurgitated from his pie-hole and we get a clear picture of Trump's incompetence. And I'm sure most of the BSun readers would like to know the educational credentials of baytownblert which might add some relevance to his future predictions of how well the Trump tariffs are going to work because I can supply a whole bunch of economists, with actual degrees, who predict the opposite. I question the thought process of anyone who supports a lying, white supremacist bigot who refuses to release his tax returns because they might show he lied about how rich he really is.


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