My old friend, Donald Davrett, criticized President Trump for “tirade[s],” “simplistic and hateful characterization,” “bluster and name-calling” (“Trump notches another economic failure,” Roslyn Times, Sept. 11). Then he proceeds to show us how such is done in his simplistic argument ad hominem; long on heat and short on light.
In discussing trade and tariffs Davrett omitted the premise of Trump’s March 2018 tweet. More completely it read: “When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good and easy to win.” From 2000 to 2017 our balance of trade varied between negative $361 billion and negative $761 billion.
In human terms our manufacturing base in many industries, from clothing to computers, virtually disappeared. Davrett’s opinion, that the factory is archaic and not needed, is suburban elitist typical of today’s “progressives.”
Davrett relied on his 20 years in manufacturing for his “wisdom” that “manufacturing seeks low production costs.” But what he failed to tell us is that China unfairly lowers its export costs by subsidizing otherwise failing industries to eliminate foreign competition.
A second major unethical Chinese practice is stealing our technology through forced technology transfers. China forces foreign businesses to share their technology in exchange for market access. When a company wants to enter the Chinese market, China compels the firm to share its technology with Chinese companies. That “market access” lasts till the Chinese company displaces the foreign one with the stolen technology combined with the subsidized pricing.
Not satisfied with subsidies and forced technology transfers China sponsored Chinese “students” and industrial interns to steal our technology at the source. China also bribes American tech and science professors to facilitate large-scale technology transfers from U.S. companies and universities to Chinese entities. China conducts and supports cyber intrusions into U.S. companies to access their sensitive commercial information, such as trade secrets.
Many of these spies have recently been discovered, some were arrested, and others fled back home. One such female medical intern claimed to have been a nurse in China. A photo of her in a Chinese army officer’s uniform was discovered.
In connection with these depredations, the Trump administration shut down the Chinese Houston embassy, which was evidently coordinating the spying activities. Workers could be seen burning their files in the back yard.
Far from failure Trump should be credited with many trade and other economic accomplishments. He has kept his promise to crack down on trade cheaters and to promote fair and equal trade.
The United States and China have reached an historic and enforceable agreement on a Phase-One trade deal that requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. Shortly thereafter the China virus hit, causing bad feelings between us and delaying Phase-Two negotiations. China’s hope for Biden’s election will likely freeze progress till after the election. I’m not even getting into Hunter Biden’s lucrative deals with China and the Ukraine.
With the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA), the Trump administration successfully fulfilled the president’s promise to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. It halted the loss of many thousands of jobs to Mexico, opened new markets for U.S. farmers and manufacturers, encouraged increased manufacturing in the U.S. allowing workers and small businesses to flourish.
We also concluded a lobster trade agreement with the EU that eliminated tariffs and opened markets for our fisherman.
Davrett also lists as “economic failures” job growth, GDP, and “near total obliteration of our defenses against pandemic outbreaks,” and asserts that Trump “could never match the record of [Obama] even if the pandemic had never happened.”
Till the pandemic hit Trump’s pro-growth policies generated 6 million new jobs, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest point in 50 years, and wages grew at over 3 percent for 10 months in a row. The manufacturing industry created nearly half a million new jobs. A total 625,000 new construction jobs were created since President Trump took office. Hispanic, Asian and African American unemployment rates have all reached record lows. There were more than a million more job openings than unemployed persons in the U.S.
In President Obama’s final year, 2016, GDP growth was 1.6 percent. In President Trump’s first three years it was 2.4, 2.9 and 2.3 percent. President Trump faulted the Obama administration, and rival Joe Biden for leaving the U.S. unprepared for the coronavirus crisis, as he took executive action to replenish federal stockpiles of medical supplies. “Never again will another president inherit empty shelves or expired products,” Mr. Trump said on a visit to a medical supply distribution company near Allentown, Pennsylvania. “I’m determined that America will be fully prepared for any of the future outbreaks.”
I’m also not getting into President Trump’s Middle East successes for which he has so far received two nominations for the Peace Nobel Prize; except to note that VP Biden opposed the mission to kill bin Laden.
Evidently Donald Davrett has been living on Mars.
The writer is a former Democrat committeeman and president of the Greater Roslyn Democratic Club.