Cal Thomas: A victory on trade

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Thursday, October 4th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Credit should be given where credit is due. Here’s Cal Thomas now on America’s likely new trade deals.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: In baseball, when a team trades a player to another team, each expects a benefit in return. Not so in recent years when it comes to the trade of especially American products with other countries.

President Trump has been right in his criticism of NAFTA and other trade deals that have left the United States at a disadvantage. These deals have stifled job growth and allowing other countries to steal American intellectual property.

That will begin to change with what the administration is calling the USMCA—which stands for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

At first, Mexico refused to alter its trade policies, but now it has. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced strong opposition to—among other things—changing what Trump said was a tariff as high as 300 percent on U.S. dairy products. And he, too, eventually compromised.

Of course, China has been most resistant of all to addressing its unbalanced trade policy. But even it has announced a reduction in tariffs on some consumer goods, including clothes, washing machines, and makeup, beginning next July 1.

As Bloomberg News reported, China’s announcement came after the president “decided to move ahead with additional tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China, a move that could potentially derail the truce reached last week between the world’s two biggest economies. China hit back at that, with a foreign ministry spokeswoman saying on Wednesday that China would respond accordingly if the U.S. insisted on unilateral measures.”

This is all part of the president’s negotiating strategy. It is unlikely China would have made its unilateral move on tariffs had the president not campaigned about an unfair trade imbalance. This week the president said he will deal with China later.

Critics of President Trump have been proved wrong on this. They said manufacturing jobs were never coming back to America. But they are.

The new agreement requires a large portion of every car to be made by high-wage workers. That will reduce foreign outsourcing—which is a tremendous problem. This points to more auto-parts and automobiles being manufactured inside the United States.

President Trump predicted the agreement will make “America back into a manufacturing powerhouse.” It seems Wall Street agrees. The Dow Jones rose nearly 300 points on Monday.

Congress still has to approve the deal, and that may not happen before the year ends. But I’ve seen no credible argument in opposition. Both parties should jump at the chance to help American workers.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Cal Thomas.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) President Donald Trump speaks as he announces a revamped North American free trade deal, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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