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Harold French — Trump’s America First trade policy is working

Harold French — Trump’s America First trade policy is working

New England is thriving under President Trump, thanks in large part to his America First approach to trade policy, which is helping to put the region on a sound, sustainable economic footing.

There’s nothing mysterious about the ongoing economic renaissance taking place across our region — it came about because America finally has a president who is willing to fight for the interests of U.S. workers.

On the domestic front, the president has rejuvenated our long-stagnant economy with pro-growth policies, such as cutting taxes on businesses and middle-income individuals, eliminating burdensome and unnecessary regulations, and withdrawing the U.S. from job-killing agreements such as NAFTA, the Trans Pacific Partnership, and the Paris Climate Accord.

The impact of President Trump’s economic policies can be seen throughout New England — Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are all achieving impressive economic milestones just two-and-a-half years into Donald Trump’s presidency. The unemployment rate in each of the six states, for instance, is currently at or below the national average, which itself is hovering near a half-century low. All told, the region has added more than 135,000 new jobs since Donald Trump first took office in January 2017.

But the record-breaking prosperity that we’ve already experienced under Donald Trump’s leadership is only the beginning — when fully implemented, the president’s trade policies will further strengthen New England, allowing local economies to thrive like never before.

President Trump’s trade strategy is designed to protect American workers from trade cheaters, such as China, who have been taking advantage of honest American labor with impunity for decades.

When President Trump visited New Hampshire this week, he underscored the fact that his strategic counter-tariffs have already managed to significantly wound China’s economy, putting enormous pressure on Beijing to come to the negotiating table on trade.

While a comprehensive trade agreement with China is the biggest prize, the president has not neglected America’s other trade partners. Among his earliest accomplishments was the successful renegotiation of NAFTA. Once the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is formally approved, it will replace the job-killing NAFTA arrangement that cost the U.S. more than a million jobs with an updated deal for the 21st century that enables American workers and businesses to compete on even terms with their Mexican and Canadian counterparts.

Despite the Democrat Party’s best efforts to undermine President Trump’s America First approach to international trade, the benefits are impossible to overlook. That’s why the New England Council, a nonpartisan business alliance, recently urged lawmakers in Congress to approve the USMCA, saying it will benefit hundreds of thousands of workers in New England alone.

Canada and Mexico are two of New England’s top trading partners, and it is vital to our region’s economic well-being that we continue to have free trade with our neighbors to the north and south,” New England Council President James Brett said in June, stressing that

Businesses representing “a wide array of industries” in the region fully support the new trade agreement.

According to the International Trade Commission, the USMCA is expected to add $68.2 billion to the U.S. economy while creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs across America — a boost that would be particularly noticeable in trade-reliant regions such as New England.

President Trump has been placing a big emphasis lately on congressional approval of the USMCA, and he’s certain to bring it up during his upcoming rally in Manchester, New Hampshire. Tens of thousands of Americans from across New England will be on hand for that rally, making it an ideal venue for the president to highlight how important it is for all of them to demand that their representatives in Congress approve the USMCA as speedily as possible. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to bring the measure up for a vote, but she won’t be able to keep up that obstructionism in the face of widespread bipartisan demands for action.

The sooner Congress approves the USMCA, the sooner New England — and the rest of the country — can start reaping the economic benefits it has to offer.

(Franklin Republican Harold F. French represents District 7, including Laconia, in the N.H. Senate.)

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