Advisor and Former Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
January 30, 2017
As our new government begins to tackle its many domestic priorities, it’s important to remember that unpredictable global events can have an enormous impact on our economy at any time. Our leaders can help minimize global turmoil and protect against its negative effects by fostering a strong and growing economy at home. Growth enables us to fund our military and defense initiatives, meet our domestic needs, and better support global economic stability.
A critical component of achieving the growth we need is ensuring robust international trade. President Trump has repeatedly called for expanding trade while strengthening trade deals in favor of American workers. The question is how to improve deals where possible without losing what works. Missteps could trigger restrictions on trade that cost American jobs, increase costs for families, and cede U.S. global leadership to others.
For example, the previous administration’s failure to convince Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the current administration’s decision to formally withdraw from the pact, may have pleased trade opponents. But it doesn’t change the fact that our country must find a way to meet the original objective of the TPP, which was to tap into the extraordinary opportunities of the Asia-Pacific region for the benefit of America.
Renegotiating NAFTA is equally important. There are undoubtedly ways a two-decades-old agreement can be strengthened and improved, but we must not put at risk the 14 million American jobs our trade in North America supports.
In addition to trade, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce looks forward to helping the new government drive a variety of pro-growth priorities—including regulatory relief, tax reform, and energy development. These will promote stability and benefit the entire world. A recent report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that a more robust U.S. economy could help push global growth to 3.4% this year, up from 3.1% last year. But the IMF’s report also cautions that we are entering a period of greater global uncertainty.
To protect America from disruptive events around the world, our leaders must do all they can to promote prosperity at home. This includes strengthening our trading relationships, which will not only provide an economic boost but also give us a powerful foothold from which to influence global events. In our increasingly unpredictable world, the Chamber stands ready to help expand American trade and implement a far-reaching agenda of pro-growth policies.