A robust and thriving manufacturing sector is vital to the economic prospects of working class and middle-class families throughout the United States.
During campaign season, Team Biden paid impressive homage to all of the traditional Democrat talking points about “protecting” our manufacturing base and helping develop new jobs in manufacturing. Indeed, the United Auto Workers (UAW) heartily endorsed Joe Biden as did many other large and powerful labor unions.
Shockwaves were felt throughout our domestic auto industry earlier this week when the UAW accused Ford of reneging on a commitment to making a $900 million investment at an Ohio plant. Ford announced that it would move the production to Mexico. Some unions and labor advocates were understandably outraged by this decision and criticized the Biden administration for allowing it to happen.
However, this is a little like standing outside your house while it is being burglarized and calling the police to report a double-parked car. If Ford moving production to Mexico concerns labor unions, they ought to be terrified by events that happened without much fanfare a few weeks ago.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was a disastrous, U.S. job killing, multilateral trade deal pursued by the Obama administration for reasons unclear to almost anyone except those who consider Gordon Gekko a pioneer in modern economic development.
Hillary Clinton was an initial supporter of TPP, but came out strongly against it. Our participation was withdrawn about a few seconds after President Trump entered the Oval Office.
What should frighten labor unions a lot more than another Ford Factory in Mexico is that the Biden administration is discreetly engineering a return to TPP that has now been reconstituted as TPP-11 or the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
On January 22nd, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that President Biden wants to make TPP “stronger and better.” A few weeks ago, President Biden’s Trade Representative Katherine Thai discussed our possible reentry to the TPP while appearing on Capitol Hill: "Even today in 2021, the basic formula of TPP, which was to work with our partners with whom we have very important shared interests economically and strategically, and with the challenge of China in mind, is still a sound formula.”
These comments are aimed at carefully reifying an idea that was absurd and dead on arrival to most Republicans and Democrats just a few months ago.
While addressing lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Tai did not mention that China is eagerly pursuing membership to the CPTPP. U.S. entry into such a disastrous trade agreement would do nothing to counterbalance China if they are both members.
Regarding the Biden administration’s goal of making TPP “stronger” and “better,” one has to wonder what benefits American families could possibly derive from a deal that triggered intense discussion about exactly how much government assistance would be provided to all of the employees losing their jobs because of its enactment.
A 2016 study by Tufts University concluded that TPP would cause higher income inequality in participating countries, especially in the United States. The Tufts study estimated that the trade pact would eliminate half a million jobs in America. Most of these jobs would be in manufacturing.
The Biden administration rushed to end the Keystone XL Pipeline to appease its progressive base. Yet it also betrays the Biden administration claims that it is serious about protecting and expanding manufacturing in our country.
In addition to the tens of thousands of direct job losses from the termination of the Keystone XL Pipeline, another consequence is that it will hurt existing U.S. manufacturers by raising fuel and energy costs. Higher unforeseen costs of doing business will trigger cost cutting that will inevitably lead to manufacturing job losses and more outsourcing.
President Biden’s team is composed of numerous Obama administration veterans, some of the same officials who airily proclaimed that many kinds of manufacturing jobs were never coming back to the United States. This is the same administration that did not foresee the danger of our country no longer having the ability to produce aspirin domestically.
Insouciant claims about the impending and justified death of U.S. manufacturing jobs were laid to waste by the Manufacturing Renaissance ushered in by the Trump administration. We know that it is possible to bring these jobs back and create new opportunities for American workers; it is a matter of an administration truly caring about making it happen.
Protecting and expanding manufacturing is the key to a strong and vibrant U.S. economy. Thus far, anyone relying on President Biden’s election year promises on manufacturing must know how Enron investors felt in the summer of 2001.
Nicholas Chamberas has advised good government advocacy groups, elected officials, and political candidates on public policy matters as well as having served as a senior adviser on several prominent New York City campaigns. He holds a degree in Political Science and a Juris Doctor. Read Nicholas Chamberas Reports — More Here.
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