(image via flickr/Andrew Magill)
By Rick Amato
For a candidate who scored high marks on the economy with voters during the campaign, President Trump certainly didn’t disappoint during his first 24 hours on the job. In a whirlwind of activity the newly elected President: signed executive orders to speed up the approval of the Keystone and Dakota Pipelines, signed an executive order to renegotiate NAFTA, withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, said he would “cut taxes massively” for both middle class individuals and American companies, and in a W.H. meeting with a dozen American manufacturing CEO’s promised he would cut regulation possibly by as much as 75%. That was Monday. Well to be fair the Keystone and Dakota pipeline executive orders occurred first thing Tuesday morning.
Is it any wonder why Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore told me in a ‘Politics and Profits’ podcast, “In the first 24 hours Donald Trump did more to help the U.S. economy than Barack Obama did in 8 years.” ?
To be sure President Trump is walking a thin line on some of these decisions as they are not without their potential major pitfalls. As Moore told me he doesn’t agree with the President on everything and the exiting of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is one which concerns him. The TPP was written to exclude China, as part of an Obama Administration strategy to write Asia’s trade rules before Beijing could, establishing U.S. economic leadership in the region. Now with the withdrawal from TPP, America’s Asian allies are feeling somewhat abandoned while China’s influence in the region rises.
Then of course there’s NAFTA. As Stephen Moore told me, and forgotten or not known by many Americans, while signed into law by President Clinton it was Ronald Reagan who first actually began NAFTA. Based upon the premise that a free trade deal which helps lift the economic status of those in need while benefiting American companies is a good deal. As of today there are reports that Mexico may pull out of NAFTA altogether as opposed to face stiff re-negotiations with President Trump. That would not be a positive development with our southern neighbors despite all their problems with drugs, immigration, crime, etc. As Reagan believed, it is free trade which can help lift them out of their economic condition while providing Americans opportunities here at home.
Be all that as it may the major pitfalls can be avoided. The devil is in the details. And as Moore points out a devilish detail that can turn a good trade deal into a bad one – or vice versa- is its taxation. Why tax the production of a product (the job creation source) when instead you can tax the consumption? Today, on NAFTA for example American companies face too many hurdles, taxation and others, which de-incentivizes those companies from keeping their manufacturing jobs here in the U.S. The success of Trumponomics depends upon those trade details being worked out to intelligently favor the U.S., while not forcing our partners to feel abandoned and compelled to walk away. Or to put it differently, it’s all in the art of the deal.
You can listen to my full interview with President Trump Economic Adviser Stephen Moore by clicking the image below:
Exclusive: Interview with Trump Economic Adviser Stephen Moore
(image via wikimedia/Gage Skidmore)