The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) was surprised to see the introduction of a Senate Fast Track trade authority bill (see PDF bill) that ignores trade deficits and continues to enable modern foreign mercantilism.
“CPA is disappointed that the Senate Finance Committee has failed and refused to set a new and positive American trade strategy,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “We have already harvested the trade deficit fruits of the existing trade agreement approach. But the Senate trade authority continues to ignore the trade performance failure of the recent Korea trade deal and many that came before. After 40 straight years of trade deficits and debt, balanced trade needs to be the new US trade goal.”
A new “principal negotiating objective” in the Senate Fast Track bill also explicitly endorses offshoring of our supply chains. In text never seen in prior enacted legislation, the new bill states:
“The principal negotiating objectives of the United States regarding trade in goods are… to expand… the utilization of global value chains.”
“The ‘global value chains’ language is Senate endorsement of offshoring our domestic supply chains,” said Stumo. “CPA members know that modern successful producing and trading nations optimize and grow a broad array of domestic supply chains, through clustering and other means. We need to pursue the domestic supply chains that allow close coordination, less inventory, short lag times, and short transportation distances. They also enable the US to capture the jobs, process innovation, product innovation, ancillary services, and wealth creation at every level.”
CPA, does however, appreciate Senator Hatch’s and Wyden’s inclusion of stronger enforcement provisions in the Fast Track bill.
However, until the US pivots from a “gross export” to a “net export” goal, deindustrialization, unemployment, income inequality and economic malaise will face our workers and businesses for the foreseeable future.
The Coalition for a Prosperous America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing the interests of 2.7 million households through our agricultural, manufacturing and labor members.