Trump will help America by fighting free trade

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I am president of I Squared R Element, a local manufacturing company that I started in my garage in 1964. It now employs 85 people. I have managed millions of dollars of sales in all the industrialized nations of the world. I have donated over $5 million to the University at Buffalo, my alma mater, for scholarships for student engineers from Western New York. I want the next generation to have a shot at the success I have enjoyed.

[Jack Davis| January, 28 2016 | The Buffalo News]

I mention this not to brag, but to gain your confidence and trust so you will consider what I write.

Some of you may remember me as “Save Jobs Jack.” I ran for Congress (unsuccessfully) on the platform of “Save Jobs, Save Jobs, Save Jobs.”

I said then, as I do now, that for a country to create wealth it must grow, dig or manufacture. We have become a debtor nation because we have outsourced so much of our manufacturing capacity and jobs to other countries. The standard of living of our middle class has been declining. Our children no longer have the opportunity to earn a higher standard of living than their parents.

I said then, as I do now, that free trade agreements such as NAFTA are the cause of our problems.

These agreements eliminated the tariffs that defend American manufacturers and workers from subsidized foreign products. As a result, subsidized foreign products are destroying our industries and the jobs they provide.

We have a billion-dollar-a-day trade deficit. We run trade deficits with virtually every other nation in the world.

China, Mexico, Japan and other trading nations are taking advantage of us. They subsidize exports. They manipulate their currencies. They are cheating us.

But none of our presidents has ever retaliated against these violations of the free trade agreements. Why not?

Because these trade deals allow some giant corporations to make very high profits by importing foreign products, and Washington politicians rely on money from these companies to stay in office.

Free trade deals have been a disaster for working Americans, but others have benefited. Here’s who: Wall Street banks, Wall Street brokerage firms, retailers like Walmart that import products, multinational corporations with manufacturing plants in Asian countries that ship products into the United States and multinational corporations that buy parts and finished products (such as cars) overseas and import them.

These outfits and their Washington lobbyists contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to elect presidents and Congress members.

That’s why presidents, starting with Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and then Barack Obama, were all, or became, free traders.

In 1992, presidential candidate Ross Perot warned us about NAFTA, saying, “The great sucking sound you hear is jobs leaving.” Perot was a billionaire and could not be bought.

Clinton won and signed NAFTA.

It’s now clear: Perot was right; the jobs are gone.

When I ran for Congress, I was virtually alone when I said free trade deals are killing America and the future for working Americans. I am not alone anymore.

Donald Trump opposes Obama’s free trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Trump says he would put tariffs on products from Chinese, Japanese and South Korean companies that cheat.

Poll after poll shows white, working-class voters see Trump as the staunchest champion they have seen in American politics in decades.

Like Perot, Trump is a billionaire. He does not rely on Wall Street money to fund his campaign. He will not be bought.

I believe him. I hope you do, too.

Jack Davis is president of I Squared R Element, a manufacturing company in Akron.

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  • commented 2016-02-02 08:54:25 -0500
    Excellent article. I agree with everything Mr. Davis says except that what people have been calling “free trade” is NOT free trade. Free trade is balanced trade. (Google “Balanced Trade.”) We are practicing “free trade” by opening our market to China. China is practicing mercantilism, which is the opposite of free trade.

    Communist China is a criminal enterprise. We should not be doing business with them at all, much less allowing them to steal our jobs, drain our wealth, steal our technology and bootleg our intellectual property all over the world. Check out “Death by China,” by Peter Navarro and Greg Autry.

    Communist China is experimenting with capitalism, by allowing a few of its citizens (CCP members) to become wealthy. They get it — finally — that if a country is to generate great wealth, its entrepreneurs must become wealthy. The sad thing is, that while our middle class is being destroyed, most of China’s poor remain poor. The people who work for Foxconn, who make our iPhones, work 16 hour days, six days per week, for about $240 per month. They live in worker dorms, adjacent to the factories. The Chinese government had to install suicide nets under the windows of the worker dorms because so many of the iPhone assemblers just couldn’t face another day in the assembly line. Their room and board takes most of their earnings, leaving little to send to their families back in the provinces.

    It was our greedy, incompetent government that drove our manufacturing jobs OUT of this country by ratcheting up regulations and taxes, and by encouraging the greedy unions. Check out “Sand in the Gears,” by Andrew O. Smith.

    Twenty years ago, the “experts” were saying, “We don’t need manufacturing, we are going to be a service economy.” When it became obvious that services do NOT generate wealth, the experts declared that we were going to be a “biotech/nanotech” economy. When it became obvious that the biotech/nanotech jobs would be going to China and India, the “experts” started this phony “reshoring” nonsense. As Thomas Sowell says, the “experts” pay no penalty for being wrong — even when the results of their bad advice is devastating to the country.