U.S. Trade and Tax Policies Conspire to Stymie U.S. Manufacturing

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

In Global economic forces conspire to stymie U.S. manufacturing, Brookings’ David Dollar contends that job loss in manufacturing derives primarily from technological change, not from trade. If this were truly the sole cause, why have virtually all our trading partner been able to better deal with these technological changes and avoid the increasing trade deficit that the U.S. political elite have inflicted on America’s working class?

The answer is our trading partners have domestic friendly trade and tax policies that enable them to better deal with the technological changes that have occurred.

Donald Trump achieved his Electoral College victory, in no small part, by vilifying the United States’ increasing trade deficit, just as progressives have for decade. The appointment of Dr. Peter Navarro to head the White House National Trade Council, which is welcomed by United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard and other American labor leaders, is intended to reshape U.S. Trade Policy to promote domestic production and job creation, rather than as a foreign policy tool as it has been in the past.

Progressives should be on the lookout for and support Navarro’s initiatives to mitigate currency manipulation, border taxes on U.S. exports by our trading partners and tax benefits to corporations that incentivize the offshoring of U.S. jobs.

Expect both the mainstream media and think tanks like Brookings to be critical of Dr. Peter Navarro’s initiatives, since they can’t help being influenced by their advertisers and donors, who have been beneficiaries of the U.S. trade deficit.

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Hugh Campbell is a seasoned financial professional, currently providing subject matter expertise on a variety of regulatory topics, including the Dodd-Frank Act, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and overall compliance monitoring. Hugh has previously held positions as Chief Risk Officer (CRO), Chief Audit Executive (CAE) and Director of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Compliance.

Posted In: Union Matters

Union Matters

Failing Bridges Hold Public Hostage

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) gave the public just a few hours’ notice before closing a major bridge in March, citing significant safety concerns.

The West Seattle Bridge functioned as an essential component of  the city’s local and regional transportation network, carrying 125,000 travelers a day while serving Seattle’s critical maritime and freight industries. Closing it was a huge blow to the city and its citizens. 

Yet neither Seattle’s struggle with bridge maintenance nor the inconvenience now facing the city’s motorists is unusual. Decades of neglect left bridges across the country crumbling or near collapse, requiring a massive investment to keep traffic flowing safely.

When they opened it in 1984, officials predicted the West Seattle Bridge would last 75 years.

But in 2013, cracks started appearing in the center span’s box girders, the main horizontal support beams below the roadway. These cracks spread 2 feet in a little more than two weeks, prompting the bridge’s closure.

And it’s still at risk of falling.  

The city set up an emergency alert system so those in the “fall zone” could be quickly evacuated if the bridge deteriorates to the point of collapse.

More than one-third of U.S. bridges similarly need repair work or replacement, a reminder of America’s urgent need to invest in long-ignored infrastructure.

Fixing or replacing America’s bridges wouldn’t just keep Americans moving. It would also provide millions of family-supporting jobs for steel and cement workers, while also boosting the building trades and other industries.

With bridges across the country close to failure and millions unemployed, America needs a major infrastructure campaign now more than ever.

 

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work